Even with snow on the ground, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is a lovely place to explore, wander and absorb art while also soaking in the beauty of the outdoors.
All ages, young and old, can enjoy the property on its own, or combine with an indoor museum visit. The sculpture park is designed in a self-guided manner and visitors experience the juxtaposition of art and nature on the 30 acre site in Lincoln through its stunning layout.
The park is family friendly and has interpretive panels which explain the artist, the medium and intent of each piece. QR codes on the panels provide visitors additional information about the artist and artwork with the click of a mobile phone.
Some pieces need no explanation, others might challenge your notion of art. One large work looks like Harry Potter’s sorting hats, giant hearts have everyday objects embedded in them upon closer examination, and a giant musical “fence” welcomes visitors to use sticks to clang out a beat.
deCordova even offers a snowshoe tour of the grounds for those wishing to combine a workout with their art experience!
On the day we visited, we wandered the landscape and saw sculptures and installations as we rounded each corner. It was a journey of discovery. Most of the sculptures are giant scale but do not detract from the landscape. Some are tucked in to the woods, some surround the patio, and some tumble down to the river. Dogs on leash are welcomed on the property, but please clean up after your pet.
The deCordova also has an indoor museum which houses a large contemporary art exhibit, a museum store, a preschool, and hosts public and private events. The museum is newly part of the Trustees of Reservations, a land conservancy in Massachusetts. Trustees members enjoy free admission.
There is no cost to wander the park outside, but there is admission to the museum. Military and senior discounts are available. Over 3,500 pieces are part of the permanent collection, comprising multiple mediums, focusing heavily on photography and featuring a large holding of New England artists, primarily from the 1950s to present day.
The museum was the former estate of Julian and Elizabeth deCordova. deCordova was interested in art from an early age and traveled the world collecting items he fancied. In 1930 he gifted the estate to the Town of Lincoln with the stipulation that it be an art museum for all to enjoy.
According to the museum’s website, while the deCordova’s own collection was not found to be valuable, the museum space, under the guidance of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, was able to fill a void in the New England art scene as a home for contemporary art, specifically that which was locally created.
Whether your taste in art is classical or modern, photography, painting or sculpture, the deCordova is a lovely place to visit. The café and museum store offers a nice respite and many unique gifts could fill your holiday shopping list without trudging to a mall.
Check the museum website and consider heading over to the deCordova. www.decordova.org
(Note: The Tewksbury Public Library has a museum pass available for the deCordova.)