Established in 1950, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest park of its kind in New England encompassing 30 acres, 20 miles west of Boston. In 2009, deCordova changed its name from deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park to deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum to emphasize its renewed focus on sculpture and to support the institution’s goal of becoming a premier Sculpture Park by 2020. Providing a constantly changing landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern and contemporary sculpture and site-specific installations, the Sculpture Park hosts more than 60 works, the majority of which are on loan to the Museum. Inside, the Museum features a robust slate of rotating exhibitions and innovative interpretive programming.
In March of 2010, deCordova acquired its first work by an international sculptor and continues to bolster the curatorial program by exhibiting high-quality, accessible art of nationally and internationally recognized artists indoors and out. To maintain its commitment to New England artists and emphasize the quality and vitality of the art created in this region, deCordova launched the deCordova Biennial in 2010 and the PLATFORM series in 2009.
Patrons of deCordova can enjoy year round activities in the Sculpture Park and Museum, including snowshoe tours, yoga in the park, birding tours, curator and artist conversations, and many special talks, screenings, and events. Unique to deCordova, the Corporate Program provides area businesses the opportunity to support the institution and regional artists through membership initiatives and Art Loan options. DeCordova is also home to the only preschool embedded in a contemporary art museum in the United States.
Please check out our events calendar on the website for full details of activities. www.decordova.org/calendar
Drop in art activities for kids, guided tours, and curator lectures.
Before visiting the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, I would have guessed that it was not a place my kids would enjoy. Moments after we arrived and began exploring I realized how wrong I was.
THE SCULPTURE PARK
We visited the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum while the Museum portion was actually closed in preparation for a new exhibit.
When you arrive, there is a nice welcoming center with clean washrooms and a few cool things for kids to check out and play with.
Once you begin exploring outside, it is really neat to see how your kids look at the sculptures. The sculptures range from very modern to cool pop art pieces and a few interactive ones your kids can play with.
Will had some very surprising insight on some of the pieces and kids under 4 will seriously just get a kick running around the beautiful grounds.
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum offers a number of tours around the outdoor sculpture garden and I would seriously suggest taking one. The guides are great with kids and guests of all ages and know a lot about the pieces. We thought one piece was an empty glass cylinder until our guide pointed out how it distorted cars that drove past it. Looking at the piece, we saw a Mercedes sedan turn into a car delightfully smaller than a mini cooper.
To explore the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the fee is $10 per adult with children under 12 getting to explore for free. I love the idea that families can spend an entire afternoon enjoying the park only having spent $20. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum also offers free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.
PICNIC AND PLAY
My recommendation for exploring deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is to pack and picnic and plan to just let your kids play. The gardens are gorgeous and there is plenty of space to sit, explore and just be a family. I loved watching Will approach the sculptures and giving him a few minutes to figure out what he saw before asking questions. It was fun to compare what we thought of the art and an enjoyable way to spend a sunny afternoon.
I really enjoyed our time at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and would seriously recommend it for kids of all ages. I would plan to spend a little more time onsite next time as there were many pieces of art and lots to see. I would recommend bringing a stroller for younger children as there is a fair bit of walking if you want to see all the different pieces.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. I received no other compensation and these opinions are entirely my own.
My teen aged boys got fresh air and a cultural experience all at once. I was surprised at the extensive collection. There is a small restaurant which is convenient. Go on a good weather day and enjoy the scenery. We were taken there by a relative who takes art classes there. I had never heard of the museum but it's special. I loved all the different types of sculptures.
The DeCordova Musuem is a fun and engaging place to introduce children to art! I love the Sculpture Park. The Museum has made its entire grounds open to invited artists to be inspired by and locate their sculptures. I really enjoy wandering around and being surprised by the discovery of yet another sculpture piece that I had not noticed before. It always makes me wonder how many I have missed during my multiple visits to the museum. It is a wonderful place to have a picnic and have the kids run around since all the outdoor sculptures can be touched and even climbed on in some cases. The indoor museum has multiple rotating themed exhibits, with quite a range from vernacular art to contemporary works of specifc artists. There are also art classes for children and adults in various media.