A lot of excitement and anticipation surrounded this ambitious project, the conversion of an empty 27-building textile factory into a center for the arts. Even before its official opening, it had a nickname -- MASS MoCA -- and hosted performances by David Byrne, Patti Smith, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Works on display are often outsized, crossing traditional aesthetic boundaries to marry elements of both performing and visual arts. Its chief virtue -- from the standpoint of those contemporary artists who choose to work on a grand scale -- is the vastness of the spaces available. But additionally, the museum has hosted a variety of musical events, experimental films, even dance parties, and is attracting small tenant companies working the vineyards of technology, including software, video, and e-commerce. MASS MoCA has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and is certainly worth the short detour east from neighboring Williamstown.
The snacky Lickety Split (tel. 413/663-3372) occupies a space on the ground floor of the museum, serving coffee, ice cream, and light fare.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Ask Berkshires Locals about Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
- Highly Recommended 2010