New England Art Fly Drive Holiday
“If you want to look at art, there is more of it to be seen per square mile on the east coast of the United States than there is in any other place on earth.” So said British art critic Richard Dorment. In New England’s art museums, you can see everything from rare Egyptian relics through to French Impressionists and the most up-to-date contemporary art. Not forgetting the great American painters who were — and still are — inspired by the region. And, even if you have been to one of these museums before, the special exhibitions are well worth a repeat visit.
Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.View full itinerary
Woodstock to Burlington
Frontier America recommends a detour to take in St. Johnsbury to see the Athenaeum: unchanged sin...
Burlington to North Adams
Allow plenty of time to visit the Shelburne Museum: this extraordinary museum stretches over 39 b...
In the morning, visit the Bennington Museum where you will find many works by Anna Mary Robertson...
North Adams to Stockbridge
In Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum houses the largest collection of the ill...
Stockbridge to New Haven
Anther pretty drive today with plenty of things to see on the way. First of all should be t...
Fly into Boston for a 3 night stay
Frontier America would recommend you do not have a car whilst in the city but use the T, Boston’s excellent public transport system. During your stay in this art-strewn city we would recommend you visit:
The Museum of Fine Arts has everything from French Impressionists to ancient Egyptian art. Highlight is early American
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) showcases contemporary art in its striking new building overlooking Boston Harbor.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is in an 15th century Venetian palazzo with a wonderful collection of fine and decorative art.
Across the Charles River in Cambridge, the Harvard Art Museums is home to works by Matisse, Picasso and Italian Renaissance masters set in intimate galleries.
3 nights in BostonClose
Collect your car from downtown Boston and head northwards towards the coast of Maine. On the way, you might like to stop just north of Boston in Salem to explore the Peabody Essex Museum which exhibits the connections between art, architecture and culture. Salem is also known for the Witch Trials of 1692
Another stop should be the Ogunquit Museum of American Art which always has interesting exhibitions as well as its permanent collections. The content of the galleries do compete with the stunning views overlooking the sea.
1 night in PortlandClose
Start your day in the Portland Museum of Art which houses an impressive collection of over 17,000 fine and decorative works of art dating from the 18th century to the present. The collection includes paintings, sculpture, prints, photography, glass and ceramics, furniture, and much more. Works by artists such as Frederic Edwin Church, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, Louise Nevelson, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, and Marguerite Zorach as well as some of the European Impressionists.
After lunch continue on up the coast to spend a couple of nights in Camden. This delightful town makes a good base to explore both the glorious natural countryside of this area including the coastal villages and the Acadia National Park but also the Farnsworth Art Museum, Farnsworth has a very good American collection, but the highlight is the cornucopia of works by the Wyeth family: the famous NC Wyeth and his son (still working), plus huge collection of works by 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson.
2 nights in CamdenClose
Rockland & Camden to Woodstock
Today you will have to retrace your footsteps as far as Portland before heading into the delightful New Hampshire countryside.
Your first port of interest could be the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. Here you will find American and European art ranging from the Renaissance to current day. housed in the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Zimmerman House. For a totally different experience, we would suggest you stop in at the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum displaying many artefacts showing the Indian way of life.
Overnight near Hanover. (NB you might want to add a night here to explore the White Mountains of New Hampshire)
1 night at WoodstockClose
Woodstock to Burlington
Frontier America recommends a detour to take in St. Johnsbury to see the Athenaeum: unchanged since 19th century with a massive painting by Bierstadt.
After breakfast, visit the Hood Museum of Art, a teaching museum, part of Dartmouth College in Hanover and we strongly recommend a visit to the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park in the Green Mountains to explore the mansion and gardens. You will find a splendid, but little known, collection including landscape paintings from the Hudson River School, which is rated as a gem of the National Park Service.
1 night in BurlingtonClose
Burlington to North Adams
Allow plenty of time to visit the Shelburne Museum: this extraordinary museum stretches over 39 buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds. It has over 150,000 works with plenty of Americana plus Impressionists in idyllic setting. In order to avoid cultural indigestion and as there is so much to see, we have planned two nights in the Williamstown area.
2 nights in North AdamsClose
In the morning, visit the Bennington Museum where you will find many works by Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as "Grandma Moses", who was a renowned American folk artist as well as much locally made furniture, glass and pottery.
A direct contrast is the MASS MoCA in North Adams. Exciting and edgy, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of the largest centres for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country. September 2013 saw a newly renovated 10,000-square-foot building devoted to an exhibition of sculpture and paintings by the German artist Anselm Kiefer.
Also in Williamstown is the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute– totally outstanding the Clark is home to exceptional examples of European and American painting and sculpture, master prints and drawings, English silver and porcelain, and early photographs. The museum is best known, however, for its extraordinary collection of French Impressionist paintings.Close
North Adams to Stockbridge
In Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum houses the largest collection of the illustrator’s original art, many from the Saturday Evening Post and you can visit the country home, studio and gardens of America's foremost public sculptor, Daniel Chester French.
1 night in StockbridgeClose
Stockbridge to New Haven
Anther pretty drive today with plenty of things to see on the way. First of all should be the
Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington: a country mansion designed in 1901which is filled with treasure from the Impressionists to Chippendale and also a glorious garden. New Britain Museum of American Art houses over 10,000 American works of art and finally the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford which was the first public art museum in the United States. Now there are over 50,000 works of art including American Decorative Art, works from the Hudson River School, European art from the Renaissance to the present day. The Wadworth dedicates itself to collecting and supporting the work of living artists.
1 night in New HavenClose
New Haven is the home of Yale University and has two excellent galleries. The Yale Centre for British Art has the best British collection outside UK and the Yale University Art Gallery has an amazing collection ranging from Central African art, through coins and medals, Asian and European to the present day.
If you have time, stop in at the Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme) to see the American Impressionists before driving on to Newport, Rhode Island to spend your last three nights.
TIP The Connecticut Art Trail offers a $25 Art Pass (worth $750 for entry to 16 museums and historic sites in total on the Trail,) valid for one year. Please ask us to get this for you.
3 nights in NewportClose
Newport, Rhode Island
Most of the art in Newport is contained in the many mansions built as summer cottages for New York families such as the Vanderbilts. (cottage is somewhat of a misnomer since some have has many as 70 bedrooms!) The Breakers is the most famous but others such as Rosecliff, Rough Point (great art collection) and the Elms are well worth a visit. You might also want to go out to the Gilbert Stuart Museum. Stuart was an 18th century American portrait artist who is best known for his unfinished Athenaeum portrait of George Washington seen on the $1 bill. Tennis fans should also visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame.Close
As your flight does not leave until the evening, Frontier America would suggest lunch in the state capital of Providence and a visit to the compact, but special, Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design,
NB This holiday can be modified to suit your preferences and if you would like to shorten the journey, this is very possible as all roads lead to Boston! Alternatively, if you would like to spend a few days relaxing on Cape Cod or in Newport, please let us know, it could not be easier.
PS Please do check with Frontier America for opening times and special exhibitions.Close
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