Once a year, museums across the country open their doors on Free Museum Day. In Boston and Cambridge, where the museums are continually ranked as some of the best in the country, if not the world, it’s a unique opportunity to explore rich collections and exhibits that span continents and centuries. Here’s how to pack in all the highlights from multiple museums during Free Museum Day in Boston, held this year on September 22.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts’ exceptionable programming gets even better this fall thanks to a slew of noteworthy exhibits. Families will love Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, which gives big and little fans the chance to explore A.A. Milne’s youthful takes. Be sure to reserve your timed tickets in advance, if possible. Two other blockbuster exhibits are running concurrently: French Pastels, Treasures from the Vault and Casanova’s Europe, Art, Pleasure and Power in the 18th Century.
Get a glimpse of what life among Boston’s elite was like in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries at the Gibson House, a well-preserved home museum. Catherine Gibson purchased the new home in 1859 for her son Charles after the death of her eldest son John. The move sparked discussion for two reasons: Gibson’s status as a female home-owner and her selection of a home in the just-built Back Bay neighborhood. See how the family lived, from their china collection to their furniture, and get a better sense of the history of New England society.
Harvard Art Museums
Explore the work of the Romantic Period’s most famous artist, Théodore Géricault, in Mutiny: Works by Géricault. Audiences will get to see nearly 40 drawings, watercolors, lithographs, and paintings from the museums collections as well as those loaned for the exhibit that explore the artist’s dedication to depicting life as it was in early 19th century France.
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Learn more women’s right to vote during its Suffragist of the Month exhibit, exploring the process and work that went into getting females the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on August 19, 1920. The Institute itself is stunning and gives you an intimate look into the working life of the late Edward M. Kennedy as his office from Washington D.C. was rebuilt inside his eponymous foundation.
Museum of African American History
Explore the impact the African American community has had on Boston since the city’s earliest days at this Beacon Hill museum. See Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century on view at the Abiel Smith School, a National Historic Landmark, and part of the museum.