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Institute of Contemporary Art
Holiday Travel Guide

Institute of Contemporary Art

Between its striking modern building and its vast collections of contemporary art, this museum on Boston’s waterfront provides delights to enjoy at every turn.  

Boston may be known for its rich history, but the Institute of Contemporary Art pays homage to a more modern era. Explore its collections, featuring pieces by famed contemporary artists such as Paul Chan and Pipilotti Rist.

Immediately pick out the unique design of the museum among its neighbors on the waterfront. Its distinctive, boxy shape juts over the Boston Harbor. Famed American architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who were also the creators behind New York’s famous High Line, designed the eye-catching building.

The museum has a burgeoning permanent collection, but it is best known for its ever-changing exhibits. Check out the work of emerging artists in the Momentum Series. The Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, located in the museum lobby, changes annually. Look at local talent in the James and Audrey Foster Prize Exhibit, which honors Boston-area artists.

The museum also has a famed exhibit space and theater. Attend special events held throughout the year, ranging from performances to film festivals.

Join a free tour to learn all about the museum’s architecture and its currents exhibits. Come to the Visitor’s Center to find out when and where the next tour is beginning. If you prefer to explore the museum at your own speed, bring along a complimentary ICA Audio Commentary as a guide.

Enjoy a coffee or meal at the Water Café, located in the back of the museum. Your snack will be accompanied by breathtaking views across the waterfront.

The museum is centrally located on Boston’s waterfront along the Harbor Walk. It is a short walk from downtown and accessible by many different public transportation routes. If you’re driving, look for metered on-street and garage parking options, but be aware that these tend to fill up quickly.

Purchase your ticket at the Visitor’s Center as you walk into the museum. Discounts apply for youths, students and seniors. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Every Thursday evening, the Institute of Contemporary Art hosts ICA Free Thursday Nights, when all visitors, regardless of age, have complimentary admission to the museum and all of its exhibits.

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