SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Where do you begin to talk about the Springfield Museum System? Five buildings in the Quadrangle area that house priceless artifacts and paintings from some of the world’s most famous artists. And items that help chronicle the remarkable history of the City of Homes.
“All you have to do is show a proof of residency and you can get in without paying anything,” said Holly Smith-Boves, President of the Springfield Museums.
And we find that about 25 to 30 percent of the people who come here are from Springfield.” “So the system obviously means a lot to the people in the community.”
You can hear the pride in Holly Smith-Boves’ voice. She’s been the President of the Springfield Museums for just over a year, but has been a part of the system for nearly a decade.
If it’s planes, cars, guns, and motorcycles you’re interested in there’s the Lyman and Merri Wood Museum of Springfield History.
Large animals, natural history, and wildlife, the Springfield Museum of Natural History should be on your to do list.
The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum holds one of the most prolific displays of Japanese and Chinese in the world.
And the D’Amour Fine Art Museum has some of the great Impressionist Masters on display.
Quite remarkable, and it sits right here in our own backyard.
“We’re really unique in the country to have five different museum buildings on the same quadrangle grounds, and you buy one ticket and get into all of them.”
“We have a central administration so it’s really amazing that we have art history and science, and that we can collaborate and do exhibitions together. So we have something for everybody.”
“It’s a treasure and actually we contribute to exhibitions all over the world,” said Julia Courtney, Curator of the D’ Amour Fine Art Museum.
“I’m constantly hearing from curators in Japan and Paris that our collection is outstanding.”
“It’s very well known to people around the globe, and less well known to some people in this area which is very interesting.”
While all of the Springfield Museums hold a certain appeal for everyone’s taste, from a pure art standpoint the Fine Art Museum is undoubtedly the most impressive.
The works of Degas, Monet, and Chardin can be seen hanging on the walls.
There is also a contemporary art section. Once again something for everyone’s taste.
“I think it’s so wonderful to discover things right in your own backyard,” said Courtney.
“There’s lots of teachers who come in with their students who maybe haven’t had the opportunity or time to come into the museums before.”
“I hear that from a lot, as well as people who are visiting the area.” If you look in the summer at our parking lot on any given day of the week you’ll see a lot of states represented.”
“So people come here looking for something to do, a way to spend their leisure time, and they’re really astounded at what we have to offer.”