Located in the heart of Massachusetts, the Worcester Art Museum has a 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings, and new media that spans over 5,000 years of art and culture. The institution, founded by Stephen Salisbury III “for the benefit of all the people,” first opened its doors in the spring of 1898, and today houses works of art representing more than 50 centuries of creativity.
Among the first museums to exhibit and collect photographs as fine art, their photography collection has grown to over 2,000 images that span the entire history of the medium. Works from the Civil War to the present are displayed in changing exhibitions.
With an active acquisitions program, and a library founded in 1909 as a non-circulating bibliographic resource dedicated to the history of art, the museum’s attention to preserving the past while showcasing contemporary art reflects the collective strengths of the institution.
Thirty-five galleries offer visitors a walk through time and across cultures. Highlights include important works by Hals, Gainsborough, Goya, Turner, Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Braque and Kandinsky. The 20th Century galleries feature noteworthy names in modern art like Benton, O’Keefe, Kline, Kelly and Noland.
Worcester Art Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Good (easily accessible by WRTA buses 3, 30, and 31 at the Worcester Art Museum/WPI and a 17-minute walk from the Worcester MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak Stations)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays); 3rd Thursday of every month open until 8 p.m. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and major holidays
- Admission: Adults $14; Seniors/College Students $12; Kids (17 and under) and Members Free. The first Saturday of each month, admission is free from 10 a.m.–Noon
- Tour: All Public tours are free with the cost of admission and are offered September through May (no reservations required). Group tours are offered year round for groups of 10 or more (reservations required at least two weeks in advance)
- Audio Tour: Available at the Visitor Service Representative Center and offered in English and Spanish
- Membership: Basic Membership: Individual (1 year $60; 2 years $110); Household (1 year $80; 2 years $140); Household Plus – for 3 adults (1 year $125; 2 years $230). Seniors (65+) receive $10 discounts. Basic member benefits include unlimited free admission and gallery/audio tours; free admission to Third Thursday series; free unlimited use of the Museum Library; up to 15% savings for on-site classes; a 10% discount at the Museum Shop and 20% in December; invitations to exclusive exhibition openings; and invitation to new member reception and tour. Contributing Level Memberships: Friend ($200); Sponsor ($300); Fellow ($600); Salisbury Society ($1,250+)
- Other Benefits: Reciprocal membership to other museums is available at the Friend Level ($200).