7 Museum Exhibits in Boston to Check Out Before They Disappear

Immersive art exhibits, video game-themed displays, and more museum exhibits to add to your bucket list.

Boston is home to some of the most famous museums in the country—from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. While the establishments themselves draw crowds and plenty of attention, it’s the world-renowned works that bring about art enthusiasts. And if you’re not much of an enthusiast, you can at least appreciate the level of passion along with the history, stories, and detail that went into each piece of work.

With the new season comes a bevy of fun things to do around the city, so make sure to pencil in spending an afternoon checking out one of Boston's many world-class museums. Curators across art, science, and other disciplines have crafted some truly exceptional exhibits across the city, so plan a date night or round up some friends and head to the coolest museum exhibits in Boston right now—but hurry before it’s too late.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Brought to you by internationally-acclaimed photographer and activist Sir Zanele Muholi, Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance documents the lives of Black LGBTQIA+ in their home country of South Africa and beyond. With more than 50 works on display—from Muholi’s iconic black and white self portraits to recent paintings to a sculptural bronze—the exhibit, which will run until May 8 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is simply a can’t-miss.
Dates: Now through May 8
How to visit: Museum is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm

Immersive Frida Kahlo
Immersive Frida Kahlo

If you didn’t have the chance to visit Immersive Van Gogh, you really don’t want to miss out on the Frida Kahlo experience. As an ode to the legendary artist and her “magical realism” paintings, you can find yourself navigating throughout her famous works with the help of large-scale projections, accompanied by a soothing musical score. The venue, the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the Castle, will also simultaneously host Immersive Klimt (until the end of May) for fans of his famous pieces including “The Kiss.”
Dates: Now through May 28
How to visit: Reserve timed tickets via website

Game Changers at MassArt Art Museum
Game Changers at MassArt Art Museum | Peter E/Flickr

The relatively new MassArt Art Museum is probably one of the most exciting art spaces in the city as it fosters learning and new talent all under one roof—not to mention it’s always free! Throughout the year, you can catch the large-scale installation Valkyrie Mumbet and artist collective Ghost of a Dream’s Yesterday is Here, but before it comes to a close on May 22, be sure to check out Game Changers. For those devout gamers or those that appreciate the art of gaming, this group exhibit displays the cross between contemporary art and video games, showcasing new possibilities for game-related art and pushing aesthetic and technological boundaries.
Dates: Now through May 22
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday from noon to 6 pm, Thursday from noon to 8 pm, and Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Turner’s Modern World at Museum of Fine Arts Boston | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Known as one of the first modern artists, J. M. W. Turner’s paintings depicted his life and work during the industrial revolution. And out of his 32,000 pieces, you’ll find more than 100 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sketchbooks at the MFA, showcasing his interpretation of everything from technological advances to abolition and political reform.
Dates: Now through July 10
How to visit: Reserve timed tickets via website

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Real Photo Postcards: Pictures from a Changing Nation at Museum of Fine Arts Boston | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In 1903, the Eastman Kodak Company released the postcard camera, which developed a postcard-sized negative that could print directly onto a blank card. The camera took off without a hitch, documenting the daily lives of those before World War II. Fast forward to 2022, and more than 300 works drawn from the MFA’s Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive are on display, taking a look at life in the US in the early 20th century through real photo postcards—capturing tragic, surreal, average, and even funny moments that are an essential part of history.
Dates: Now through July 25
How to visit: The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Friday from 10 am to 10 pm.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light at Museum of Fine Arts Boston | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For the first time in a while, museumgoers can see the MFA’s beloved seven painted and gilded wooden sculptures from the 9th to the 12th centuries in a public conservation studio. The relocation “enables visitors to see the objects in a new setting for the first time in decades,” according to the MFA. The exhibit also displays three sculptures from storage that act as points of comparison to showcase the different sculptural techniques, styles, and states of preservation.
Dates: Now through July 3
How to visit: The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Friday from 10 am to 10 pm.

Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at Peabody Essex Museum
Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at Peabody Essex Museum | Peter E/Flickr

With only a few more weeks until the exhibit comes to a close, you can catch Each/Other by leading Indigenous contemporary artists Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. The exhibit features 26 mixed media sculptures, wall hangings and large-scale installation works by the two artists, along with new monumental artist-guided community artwork. The pieces are meant to emphasize creativity as a means to connect and build a better understanding between individuals, neighbors, and communities.
Dates: Now through May 8
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and Friday from 10 am to 7 pm.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.