Four museums and a library surrounding a grassy quadrangle constitute this worthwhile resource. There is a Welcome Center (daily 9am-5pm) on Edwards Street that sells tickets, which are good for all four museums.
Attached to the center is the Springfield Science Museum, which contains a planetarium, dioramas of African animals, and a small Dinosaur Hall.
The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum houses a replica 1780s kitchen with its hearth for cooking and low ceilings that kept heat in during New England winters; examples of weapons made by the city's firearms manufacturers in the 1800s; and a yellowing copy of a 1918 newspaper declaring the Red Sox World Series victory.
The Museum of Fine Arts is the most important of the lot, with over a dozen galleries. A Currier & Ives gallery has new exhibits of work by the printmakers every 6 months, while other galleries feature Colonial paintings from Gilbert Stuart and John Copley of the Revolutionary period all the way up to 20th-century abstract expressionists -- Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, and George Sugarman.
On the end of the quad near the library is the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, housed in an 1896 Italian Renaissance-style mansion. Upstairs are largely sentimental pastoral scenes, with a few small landscapes by George Inness, Thomas Cole, and Albert Bierstadt. The main floor displays Japanese samurai weaponry surrounding a carved 1805 Shinto shrine, as well as a room of full-size casts of classical Greek and Renaissance sculptures.
The Quad itself is a peaceful respite, with marble benches throughout the small park. On the library end is the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, with sculptures of the author himself (who was born in Springfield), the Cat in the Hat, and the Grinch. The one blemish is that overhanging trees are favorites for birds, with the unfortunate results below.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Springfield Museums at the Quadrangle
Ask Springfield Locals about Springfield Museums at the Quadrangle
- Recommended 2010