Springfield Museums

Springfield Museums One Stop, Five Museums. Plus the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. The Museums are open on the following holidays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Presidents' Day Patriots' Day Columbus Day Veterans' Day
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The Springfield Museums, located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, is comprised of five world-class museums covering art, history, and science, plus the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and National Memorial Sculpture Garden. #atthemuseums #SeussinSpringfield

Mission: The Springfield Museums inspire exploration of our connections to art, history, and science through outstanding collections, exhibitions, and programs.

Today is known as Juneteenth, the day enslaved peoples in Texas learned of their freedom in 1865. The day now commemorat...
06/19/2020

Today is known as Juneteenth, the day enslaved peoples in Texas learned of their freedom in 1865. The day now commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On view in the Modern and Contemporary Gallery in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is this sculpture by Melvin Edwards (American, born 1937), “For Dumile: Siyabonga” (1991). At the height of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, Melvin Edwards began a series of welded steel wall reliefs known as “Lynch Fragments.” Inspired by Ralph Ginzburg's book, “100 years of Lynching,” the sculptures are a protest against racism and oppression. The works also make many connections to African art and culture. Some resemble African masks and others suggest traditional African clothing, sculptures, or agricultural tools. Many have titles derived from African expressions, places, or people. “For Dumile: Siyabonga” is a welded steel construction of found objects and fabricated forms. The assemblage of chain links, scissors, and other objects illuminate human tragedy and heartbreak. Chains, which are often found in Edwards' work, represent shackles, objects of constraint and oppression as well as life lines that link and join human beings together. Learn more about our collections at http://bit.ly/SMCollections.

[Image description:
Melvin Edwards
American, born 1937
“For Dumile: Siyabonga,” 1991
Steel
Museum Purchase through Phillips and Gray Funds and the Contemporary Art Fund
93.S02

A steel sculpture that includes scissors, chains, shackles, and other objects of constraint.]

#DidYouKnow that we are currently in the perfect viewing time for the arietids meteor shower? Get up about 45 minutes to...
06/18/2020
Wake up early to see the peaking Daytime Arietids meteor shower

#DidYouKnow that we are currently in the perfect viewing time for the arietids meteor shower? Get up about 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise and you might catch some of them streaking across the sky. If you also tune your radio to the right frequency, you will hear the radio waves the meteorites make. Learn more from Mike Kerr, Principal, Innovative Advancement & Integration – Science, on MassAppeal: https://www.wwlp.com/massappeal/wake-up-early-to-see-the-peaking-daytime-arietids-meteor-shower/.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SpfldMusEngage.

[Image description:
An early morning sky showing a streak of a meteorite. Power lines and a tree can also be seen.]

(Mass Appeal) – What comes to mind when you think meteor shower? One at night, right? Well believe it or not, right now is the peak of a daytime meteor shower. Mike Kerr, Principal, Innovativ…

Check out this latest book recommendation from our Curator of Art, Maggie North:"In its most exciting moments, art histo...
06/17/2020

Check out this latest book recommendation from our Curator of Art, Maggie North:

"In its most exciting moments, art history is like detective work. Clues may be hidden in brushstrokes or footnotes, and a trail of evidence can lead one through volumes of books, across continents, into seldom seen archives, and in the best cases, to a priceless discovery. Jonathan Harr’s 'The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece' is the magnetic and true tale of one such art historical journey. The narrative follows two somewhat unlikely heroes, a young student and a world-weary conservator, who pursue similar leads before their paths converge in a search for Caravaggio’s lost work, 'The Taking of Christ.' Due to Caravaggio’s artistic success, numerous copyists and followers reproduced or emulated his dramatically lit canvases, making the originals more difficult for today’s scholars to identify. In addition to an interesting and informed discussion of Caravaggio’s life and work, Jonathan Harr’s text includes references to these followers or 'Caravaggisti.' A fantastic painting by one of Caravaggio’s most notable followers, Bartolomeo Manfredi, is represented in the collection of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. After reluctantly putting down “The Lost Painting” some evenings before bed, I found my mind wandering to the deep reds, dark shadows, and emotive gestures represented in Manfredi’s 'Christ Crowned with Thorns.' Evocative of the manner of Caravaggio, the Manfredi painting is a great companion to this worthwhile read, and vice versa." For more book recommendations and to learn more, please visit https://bit.ly/3d5qt8I.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SpfldMusEngage.

[Image description:
Bartolomeo Manfredi
Italian, 1582-1622
Christ Crowned with Thorns, circa 1610-1620
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Channing Blake
95.04

An oil painting of a man holding onto a rope that bounds another man, Jesus Christ, who is wearing a crown of thorns.]

Upstairs in the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum are three rooms full artifacts owned by Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, don...
06/16/2020

Upstairs in the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum are three rooms full artifacts owned by Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, donated by his stepdaughter Leagrey Dimond. In the Family Room sits this Romani Frontispiece. Traditionally this frontispiece would have been placed on the front wagon of a Romani Caravan. Hand-carved by master artisans, the frontispiece invoked protection for the family.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
An intricately carved wooden frontispiece. The piece shows figures, animals, faces, and plants.]

Check out this activity from our Smithsonian Spark!Lab Coordinator, “Invent at Home: Replant an Apple Orchard.” Show us ...
06/15/2020

Check out this activity from our Smithsonian Spark!Lab Coordinator, “Invent at Home: Replant an Apple Orchard.” Show us a picture of your invention in the comments or tag us in a post! For more fun activities, videos, blog posts, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

Image information:
Invent at Home: Replant the Apple Orchard
Background: Seed dispersal is extremely important for the survival of many different species. Trees are important because they provide homes for animals along with air for all creatures on Earth. In Massachusetts, apple orchards are very common and very popular when apple season comes around in the Fall. Can you invent something to disperse seeds and help replant apple trees?

Getting started
1.) Find a tray to act as the field
• You may cover it with brown or green paper
2.) Use crafting materials or tinker toys to create an invention to scatter seeds
• Seeds can be represented with pom poms, beans, beads etc.
3.) Test out your invention and see where the seeds end up!

• Does your invention disperse seeds all throughout the field?
• Is your invention easy to transport or move around easily?
• Will your invention be dispersing large or small seeds?
• How will your invention affect the trees that have already been planted on the apple orchard?
• Who will operate the invention?

This bowl was presented to Roger Williams by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1970. The inscription reads “To Roger Wil...
06/14/2020

This bowl was presented to Roger Williams by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1970. The inscription reads “To Roger Williams, for his unselfish contributions to the Black community of Springfield, 1960-1970. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.” Williams was known by many as the “original activist” working tirelessly to eliminate racism in public housing, education, and employment. He planned picket lines and sit-ins that led to the integration of Lake Lorraine and the lunch counter at Woolworth's Main Street store. He served as the Field Representative for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Director of the Concentrated Employment Program, the Chairman of the Action for Equality organization, as well as the President of the Springfield Action Commission (SAC). He actively pursued the appointment of the first African American employee for the United Parcel Service in Massachusetts. He was a longtime member of the local chapter of the NAACP and participated in the March on Washington in 1963. It is also said that he debated Malcolm X at a church in Springfield. The flag behind the bowl was presented to Williams posthumously by Congressman Richard E. Neal. You can learn more about the flag on our Instagram page.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
Commemorative Bowl
Presented to Roger Williams (1921 - 2005) in 1970
Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
Gift of Jeffrey Williams & the Williams Family
2008.32

Silverplated bowl and folded American flag. The bowl is engraved “TO / ROGER WILLIAMS / FOR HIS UNSELFISH CONTRIBUTIONS TO / THE BLACK COMMUNITY OF SPRINGFIELD / 1960 - 1970 / ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY.”]

The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History has a couple of examples of Springfield-made Rolls-Royce vehicle...
06/13/2020

The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History has a couple of examples of Springfield-made Rolls-Royce vehicles. Also within the museum’s holdings are artworks of Rolls-Royces by Melbourne Brindle (Australian-American, 1904-1995). In the painting seen here, Brindle has painted a 1929 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I. Brindle showed artistic talent by the age of ten and his work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Companion, and Fortune. He excelled at illustrating automobiles and his Rolls-Royce “portraits” proved so appealing that it has been said that his portrait of King George V’s custom Rolls-Royce was personally presented to Queen Elizabeth II. Brindle was also an avid collector and restorer of antique cars. In addition to owning a 1929 Rolls-Royce, he also owned six cars made by the Stevens-Duryea Company over his lifetime.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
Melbourne Brindle (Australian-American, 1904-1995)
1929 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I
Oil on canvas
Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Prestley Blake
2009.44

A painting of a black 1929 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I. It is traveling on a road. Pink flowers can be seen in the foreground and background. The background also shows cacti, hills, and mountains. In the lower left corner is an American flag, a license plate that reads “CAL – 1937 / 58 A 840,” the Rolls-Royce Logo, a plaque that reads “Brewster & Co / New York,” and “Phantom 1.”]

Originally, this rock was part of an asteroid in orbit between Mars and Jupiter that struck Earth about 49,000 years ago...
06/12/2020

Originally, this rock was part of an asteroid in orbit between Mars and Jupiter that struck Earth about 49,000 years ago. This 290 lb fragment is one of many found scattered around the mile wide crater it left. The crater, known as Canyon Diablo Crater, is in the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona. These fragments broke away from a much larger meteorite while inside the earth’s atmosphere and traveling at about 30,000 miles per hour just a short time before impact. This cataclysmic event occurred during the Pleistocene epoch when that region was much cooler and damper than it is today and when the grassland and woods were inhabited by mammoths and giant ground sloths. The crater itself is the first crater on Earth to have been recognized as being caused by a meteorite and not, for instance, a volcano.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
A large meteorite is approximately 10 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 16 ½ inches long. It is craggy, with many hollowed-out, or cupped pock marks with pointy edges, but is generally smooth to the touch. Photo by JohnPolakPhotography.com.]

Did you know that we have some mysteries at the Museums? Curator of Art Maggie North appeared on MassAppeal last year to...
06/11/2020
Mysteries at the Springfield Museums

Did you know that we have some mysteries at the Museums? Curator of Art Maggie North appeared on MassAppeal last year to talk about two paintings whose origins are a little murky. Watch the full segment here: https://www.wwlp.com/massappeal/mysteries-at-the-springfield-museums/.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
A portrait of a young man in a yellow vest holding a paint pallet.

Unknown Artist
French, 19th century
"Portrait of an Artist," undated
Oil on canvas
The James Philip Gray Collection
54.09]

Dig into the past of two centuries-old paintings with unknown origins

Check out this fun activity from our Program Coordinator at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Share photos of your ...
06/10/2020

Check out this fun activity from our Program Coordinator at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Share photos of your King Crown in the comments or tag us in a post!

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

Image description:
Crafts from the Cat’s Corner

King’s Crown

Materials: paper plate and scissors

1. Cut 4 lines into the middle of the paper plate as if it were a pizza, creating 8 equal triangles.
2. Pull the triangles out from the middle. (You may have to do some adjusting to make sure it fits your head.)
3. Using any craft materials you have, decorate your crown!

Suggested Reading: “King Looie Katz” by Dr. Seuss

What did little Zooie yell when he realized there were no more cats to hold up his tail?

The concept of a “soap dish” can be traced back to the 7th century, but they gained popularity during the Victorian era ...
06/09/2020

The concept of a “soap dish” can be traced back to the 7th century, but they gained popularity during the Victorian era when better hygiene was encouraged. According to Ruth Goodman's “How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life” (Oct. 2014), during the early years of the Victorian period, a typical four-ounce bar of soap cost the same "as a good joint of beef." This, combined with the new emphasis on hygiene, encouraged people to preserve their soap bars from air and moisture in between washings by placing the bars in covered containers. The blue and white Ironstone china soap dish, is one such example. It was part of a toilette set received as a wedding present by Sarah Jane Hurlburt in 1853. Soap dishes have evolved overtime as is evident in the second image. This soap dish was used by Ted Geisel and his family. According to Leagrey Dimond, Ted Geisel’s stepdaughter, “Not another family in the world has this snooty lady as their soap dish!”

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image descriptions:
1. A blue and white octagonal Ironstone china box with domed cover. From the collection of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.

2. A figure of a woman from the chest up. Her head is tilted backward and she is wearing an ornamental headdress. From the collection of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum.]

In a recent appearance on MassAppeal, our Family Engagement Coordinator Jenny Powers taught us about air pressure. You c...
06/08/2020
An experiment on air pressure with the Springfield Museums

In a recent appearance on MassAppeal, our Family Engagement Coordinator Jenny Powers taught us about air pressure. You can also replicate this activity at home but make sure you have adult supervision! Watch here: https://bit.ly/3eUqjm5.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image description:
A woman stands in a kitchen doing a science experiment..]

(Mass Appeal) – Ready to try a science experiment? Grab an adult, because for this one you need adult supervision. Jenny Powers, family engagement coordinator for the Springfield Museums, joi…

Happy Birthday to French artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)! The Museums have three works by Gauguin, a Post-Impressionist ...
06/07/2020

Happy Birthday to French artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)! The Museums have three works by Gauguin, a Post-Impressionist artist, and the one seen here is on view in the Carol and Noel Leary Gallery of Impressionist Art in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Gauguin was inspired by the land and seascape of Brittany in northwest France. Some scholars believe “Seascape in Brittany” was painted during the summer of 1886, while the artist was visiting the village of Le Pouldu on the southern coast of Brittany. This earlier date for the completion of the painting would explain the muted palette, as the artist used bolder colors later in his career. Once a stockbroker, Gauguin abandoned this profession after the stock market crash in France in 1882 and devoted his time to painting. His unhappy family life, financial troubles, and relationship with Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) led to bouts of depression. The lone seagull visible in “Seascape in Brittany” suggests feelings of loneliness and gloom. Gauguin later traveled to more exotic places, like Tahiti and illustrated the island's people and landscape in woodcut prints and paintings.

Missing the Museums? For activities, blog posts, videos, and more, please visit https://bit.ly/SMVirtual.

[Image information:
Paul Gauguin
French, 1848-1903
“Seascape in Brittany,” 1889
Oil on canvas
The James Philip Gray Collection
47.09

Description:
An oil painting of sea waves crashing on a rocky beach. There is a gray sky in the background and one seagull.]

Eighteen years ago we opened the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden! Even though the Museums are temporarily c...
06/06/2020
Springfield Dedicates Memorial to Dr. Seuss

Eighteen years ago we opened the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden! Even though the Museums are temporarily closed, you can visit the Sculpture Garden but please observe social distancing protocols. Read more about this momentous event in this article from Mass Moments “May 31, 2002 Springfield Dedicates Memorial to Dr. Seuss” https://bit.ly/3dxIa1V.

[Image description:
Bronze sculptures depicting some of Dr. Seuss’s most famous characters such as Horton, Thidwick, Daisy Head Mayzie, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Cat in the Hat, and Ted Geisel, Dr. Seuss himself.]

On this day in 2002, Springfield celebrated the completion of a memorial to a hometown hero, Dr. Seuss. Located in the Library and Museum Quadrangle is a bronze sculpture garden peopled with characters from Dr. Seuss's best-known books. The author is there, too, busily sketching the creatures and co...

Address

21 Edwards St
Springfield, MA
01103

Served by PVTA stops at Chestnut & Edwards (including the Loop), State & Chestnut, and at the Springfield Library.15-minute walk from the Springfield Bus Station.10-minute walk to the Springfield Amtrak (SPG).

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(413) 263-6800

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