November 18, 2008

The Decordova Museum

I've long wanted to visit the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts (just outside Boston) and never quite got around to it. I'll be back. It was delightful.

Set on the former Decordova estate, the museum is both a sculpture park and a regional contemporary art venue. A wide variety of modern sculpture is everywhere throughout the grounds and invites visitors to explore. The gallery spaces are housed in the mansion house, which sits atop a steep hill at the center of the site, and a modern addition with additional gallery spaces.
Most interesting from an architectural perspective is the way the architects of the 20,000 SF addition, Kallmann McKinnell & Wood of Boston, connected the mansion house to the parking below. The expansion succeeds because it is sensitive to the site. The entrance is understated but easy to find, the circulation is obvious–a brightly-lit stair open to the landscape, and the galleries provide a variety of larger and small spaces, well suited to the contemporary art on display. The building is nicely detailed, but restrained. It compliments the art, the sculpture, and the landscape, rather than competing for your attention in a place that already has plenty of other attractions.

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