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17 Best Boston Art Galleries You Must See in 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
Boston art galleries

Where do you even start to look for the best Boston art galleries? Does Boston have an art district? You could call Newbury Street the Boston “Art District”, but in truth, art is all around this historic port city.

According to Williams, Biggeman and Tóth in the Australasian Marketing Journal, “Gallery curators see it as their mission to provoke thinking and to provide new learning.”

This means that whether you're a tourist, a local, a budding artist or an industry expert, there's always something special to be gained from visiting Boston art galleries and museums in one of the best cities for artists

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Best Boston Art Galleries for Emerging Artists

1. Local Art Courses

The best Boston art galleries start with artists creating artwork — so if you're an emerging artist, start by taking art classes in Boston. It's a great way to meet other local artists and instructors.

Learn which techniques you prefer, whether making your own path or following in the footsteps of masters from a variety of artistic periods and have a heap of fun while you're at it!

Boston art galleries and art classes
via Canva

2. Boston Paint Studios

Another classic learning space for novice artists is painting classes in Boston if that's the type of art you're interested in. Discover what makes your artwork unique or how to perfectly capture your favorite scenery on a canvas.

What could be more enticing for emerging artists than learning from some of the best artists in Boston?

3. Boston Sculptors Galleries

If sculpture is your medium of choice, go for pottery classes in Boston — you won't regret learning your trade from world-class instructors.

Feel the clay on your skin as you form your masterpieces. Get inspired by visiting some of these Boston art galleries that feature sculpture and ceramic art. 

4. SoWa Artists Guild

Housed in a historic building that was once a mercantile, the SoWa Artists Guild is a non-profit organization involving 30 galleries and over 200 artist studios and promoting the work of dozens more galleries and of hundreds more artists.

Their artists work with a range of mediums and the Guild is recognized as one of New England's largest artistic communities.

5. Praise Shadows Art Gallery

One of the newest galleries in Greater Boston, Praise Shadows is an art gallery offering space to emerging and mid-career contemporary artists working in a variety of mediums from sculpture to tattoo, including a charming gift shop with books about art and smaller works of art for sale.

If you're wondering where to buy art in Boston, this is your answer! Novices, you can also discover how to find your art style by attending workshops and finding mentorship here.

shadows on window of art gallery in Boston
via Praise Shadows Art Gallery

Largest Boston Art Galleries

6. DTR Modern

Not only is the DTR Modern a large Boston art gallery but it's part of a chain of galleries all along the East Coast of the United States in Nantucket, D.C., New York and Palm Beach.

Hosting contemporary artists, the DTR is one of the lovely Newbury Street art galleries, home to prestigious exhibits by notorious artists like Marc Chagall and Warhol.

7. Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)

Housing a classic and magnificent collection, the Boston MFA is renowned for its various exhibits and exhibitions — including Impressionist paintings by masters like Renoir and sculptures by Degas, among an eclectic assortment of art throughout history.

Whether you're looking to learn more about techniques by studying the masters or hoping to spend hours gazing in wonder at fabulous works, the MFA is a prime spot.

Seasonal exhibitions also include more contemporary mediums, like hosting screenings for film festivals and hosting concert performances in outdoor spaces on site.

8. Boston Center for the Arts

What makes Boston one of the best cities for artists is its eclectic and diverse community — and the spaces that help artists cultivate their potential.

The Boston Center for the Arts is one such space, located in the historic South End, but also in charge of venues around the city like the iconic Cyclorama and the Mills Gallery.

Evolving with the city of Boston, the BCA supports a variety of Fine Arts like award-winning theater and dance performances, contemporary art pieces and other exciting artistic experiences.

9. Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston

One of the best art galleries in Boston is the dynamic Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston. Located on the Boston waterfront, this space hosts contemporary art organized in distinctive sections by theme with some rotating displays and a permanent collection.

Institute of Contemporary Art gallery
via Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston

Small Boston Art Galleries

10. Vose Galleries

While the first Vose gallery belonged to Copley Square in 1896, the current location is in a historic residential neighborhood that now consists of a variety of art galleries: Newbury Street.

This location was opened as a gallery in 1962 and boasts exhibits over the years of American realist paintings, but also provides promotion for contemporary artists.

11. Judith Dowling Asian Art

Specializing in fine Japanese art, the Judith Dowling Asian Art Gallery is located on historic Beacon Hill in Boston. The collection encompasses paintings, ceramics, lacquer, Buddhist and Shinto arts, textiles, and folk art.

Display spaces are even decorated in traditional Japanese settings across two floors. Judith Dowling has a private gallery in a studio above the main gallery, which is open by appointment.

12. The Copley Society of Art

Begun in 1879, The Copley Society of Art holds claims to be the oldest non-profit art association in the United States.

With represented artists ranging in experience levels from student to nationally recognized, the Society is home to over 300 living artist members who work with a variety of mediums: paint, photography, sculpture — and a variety of styles, from realism to abstract.

13. Gallery NAGA

Located on the corner of Newbury Street and Berkeley, the NAGA Boston art galleries are part of a delightful neo-Gothic Church. If you find spirituality in your artistic practices, this is the gallery for you!

While the art here is primarily American — and local to Boston and New England — it also hosts regional works from contemporary art makers in photography, printmaking, sculpting, artisan furniture and more. This is a spectacular place to find art for sale in Boston.

church-like Boston art gallery
via Gallery NAGA

14. Mobius Artists Group

This Boston-based artists' collective is an artist-run non-profit organization, committed to the creation of original and experimental pieces in all mediums.

They also support regional and international artist networks and work created by artists in the collective has been viewed across the globe.

Most Unique Boston Art Galleries

15. Society of Arts & Crafts

This crafty Boston art gallery has moved a few times over the years and is now primarily found online. The Society works to make art affordable and accessible to people from all walks of life.

Through CraftBoston, the Society of Arts + Crafts has found ways to allow the purchase of everyday art like jewelry, furniture and toys. Certainly, this makes for a fun location to spark your next art ideas!

16. Piano Craft Gallery

This magnificent Boston art gallery space was once the site of the Chickering Piano Factory, which manufactured American pianos. It was then converted into a loft space, which was later filled as creative spaces like theaters, printshops and galleries.

The current Piano Craft Gallery is a dynamic non-profit art gallery featuring a variety of contemporary and diverse art, particularly promoting artistic works of socio-economically diverse and ability-diverse individuals.

This is a free and handicap-accessible Boston art gallery, with space available for community events at affordable rates.

17. Godine Family Gallery

Started by the Godine Family, this Boston art gallery is run by students in the Massachusetts College of Art and Design “Studio for Interrelated” department.

The gallery exhibits artists in a range of mediums, including multi-media art involving visual arts, light, music and poetry — but it also helps students learn about the curatorial and administrative angles of gallery management. Support art students by paying a visit to the Godine Family Gallery.

Godine Family art gallery
via Godine Family Gallery

Another fantastic reason for visiting the local Boston art galleries is when you're wondering how to meet people in a new city. You'll never run out of exciting things to do in Boston or gifts for artists. Hopefully, you noticed a few hints in this article on where to buy art in Boston.

For even more fun Boston activities, including date ideas in Boston, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!