Earlier this week, I shared that the Southborough Library added a new discount zoo pass to its collection. It wasn’t the only new addition this summer.
Thanks to The Friends of the Southborough Library, it is also offering free admission to five museums in Springfield*. Most notable is The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum which opened last summer.
For patrons taking advantage of the Library’s passes, you need to visit the museums’ Welcome Center on arrival. At the center, you can use your pass to get your free entry to all of the museums. Because the Seuss Museum is so popular, you will need to request a timed entry ticket for it at that time. (Approx. 200 visitors are allowed entry to it every hour on the hour.)
Or perhaps, for you, those museums will be the main draw. They cover art collections, science education, and the history of Springfield. Below is an overview of each museum:
The first floor features family friendly, interactive exhibits exploring Dr. Seuss’s Springfield roots and providing opportunities to experiment with new sounds and vocabulary, play rhyming games, and invent stories–all in line with Geisel’s revolutionary role in changing how we learn to read.
The second floor, curated by Geisel’s two step daughters and great nephew, recreates Geisel’s studio and living room (with the furniture and art materials he actually used) and features never before publicly displayed art, family photographs and letters, and the original Geisel Grove sign which used to hang in Forest Park. You can even find Theophrastus, the toy stuffed dog Ted Geisel’s mother gave to him when he was a boy in Springfield.
This art museum holds the eclectic collections of George Walter Vincent Smith (1832-1923) and his wife, Belle Townsley Smith (1845-1928) in an Italian palazzo-style building established in 1896. The vast holdings include excellent examples of Japanese lacquer, arms and armor, ceramics and bronzes; one of the largest collections of Chinese cloisonné outside of Asia; Chinese jade and ceramics; and a superb collection of 19th-century Middle Eastern carpets. In addition, the collection contains significant American 19th-century paintings (especially landscape and genre), Italian 19th-century watercolors, a fine assembly of Greek and Roman antiquities, a rare plaster cast collection, objects created for 19th-century International Expositions and examples of lace and early textiles.
Restoration of the Tiffany stained glass windows at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MA-30-16-0515-16.
The Springfield Science Museum, founded in 1859 in City Hall, officially opened in 1899 in a classical revival building, expanded in 1932 with an Art Deco addition, and expanded again in 1970 with the Tolman addition that included a public observatory. In 2004, the Welcome Center was added to the Science Museum to serve as the main entrance to the entire campus. The Science Museum houses permanent collections of Natural Science, Anthropology and Physical Science. The Science Museum’s Seymour Planetarium consists of the historic Korkosz Starball, now the oldest operating star-projector in the United States.
The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, established in 1933 and housed in an Art Deco style building, includes a comprehensive collection of American, Asian and European paintings, prints, watercolors and sculpture and representative examples of drawing, furniture, metalwork, textiles, glass and ceramics. The Museum houses a comprehensive collection of European Art (French, Dutch, and Italian) and the Currier & Ives (active 1834-1907) Collection is the largest holdings of lithographs in the nation.
The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History is known for its local history research facilities, its comprehensive program of changing exhibitions, its diverse educational offerings, and it’s wide ranging collections illuminating the history of the Connecticut River Valley.
The Indian Motocycle Collection is the largest collection of Indian cycles and memorabilia in the world. The Firearms Collection includes more than 1,600 firearms, with the largest collection of Smith & Wesson guns in the world. The Automobile Collection includes an 1899 Knox, a 1901 Crestmobile, a 1925 Rolls-Royce roadster, and a 1928 Rolls-Royce roadster.
Learn more about the Springfield Museums here. Reserve your free pass from the Library here. (Remember, the Library is closed on weekends through Labor Day. So, you need to pick up any weekend passes by Friday. Note: the pass needs to be returned to the Library by 10:00 am on the next day the Library is open.)
*The pass covers admission for up to four people ages 3 and up. Children under the age of 3 are always free.