The Porches Inn, MASSMoCA and Downstreet Art in North Adams, Day 9

09 Oct

We have had the most fabulous day in North Adams, a once forgotten little town that is being rejuvenated by having the most amazing museum of contemporary art in the whole of America, MASMoCA. It is housed in multiple 19th century factory buildings and is a wonderful and enormous space to house many brilliant exhibitions. I hardly know where to start to tell you about all the beautiful creative stuff we discovered! It was lovely to be allowed to take as many photos as I wished too.

We spent a long time reading some of Tom Phillip’s work, illustrated below. He has taken a Victorian novel and reproduced every page, hiding some words under an illustration and highlighting others so as to create a poem on every page. I loved it though there are almost 1000 pieces so didn’t manage to read many! If you click on the photos, I hope you’ll be able to read the poems. This is an inspiration for me – I really want to try it though referencing other literature and monument opus happenings as he does, I’ll leave to him!




The most stunning gallery was that containing Phoenix by Xu Bing, a Chinese artist, two huge and magnificent birds made from scrap. My photos do it scant justice so I would urge you to look up the artist and his work. The story of its creation was shown in beautifully illustrated pages and in a video.






There was so much beautiful art in there that we popped out for lunch and then spent another couple of hours soaking up works by Sol Lewitt, Johnny Carrera, Mark Dion and lastly Jason Middlebrook whose beautiful pieces interpret the landscape.



We could have done with another whole day here but tomorrow we move on through Massachusetts, leaving our delightful hotel, The Porches, which is made up of six 1890’s houses once the homes of the factory workers who worked in the building which houses the gallery and which we could see from the windows there.


However, we weren’t finished yet! The town had a street art trail for us to follow.







That was a very full and different day, even if my feet ache now!


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8 responses to “The Porches Inn, MASSMoCA and Downstreet Art in North Adams, Day 9

  1. john zande

    October 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm


  2. Don

    October 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    What magnificent images. A real treat.

  3. Shelagh

    October 10, 2013 at 8:48 am

    A fabulous answer to my query, “Why North Adams?”. Guess I am a bit Vermont/Addison County insular. Will try to get out more. šŸ™‚

  4. Hudson Howl

    October 10, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Often, as with a few people I follow, I confess to being jealous regarding where people go and explore. You going into that territory,as I feel the envy building within. Our friend Don, does it to me often. Boston area has so much to offer, much of which has little to do with the ocean or so it seems; they are good folk: to quote them they are ‘wicked’.

    Art and the arts seem to flourish there -be it a spill over from the halls of higher learning, from well healed old money or perhaps the ocean an those strong nor’easters does influence ones’ sensitivity and heighten the senses. Had a chuckle over the ‘arrow’ and ‘more art this way’. Am sure you enjoyed Mark Dion given your interest for Cabinets Of Curiosities. Sol Lewitt’s has always been intriguing to me, I guess opposites do attract.

    There is one place I have never been which lays south of Boston, that is on my list to visit an photograph someday. Near Hingham is a land conservatory called ‘World’s End’. The name, sounds like a threat or challenge to a person’s curiosity to check it. I ‘google image search it’ often. Strange how a place we never been can stir us none the same.

    • mybeautfulthings

      October 12, 2013 at 11:42 am

      I know you’ll appreciatetheirony of it too – the factory used to make capacitors but was driven out of business by the Chinese who made them so much more cheaply. That factory in China also finished eventually and the capacitors were used in the making of the Phoenix which has helped the North Adams factory to rise from the ashes as a huge and wonderful art gallery now displaying the Chinese Phoenix,
      Hope you followed that!

      I’mgoing to google World’s End too!

      All the best šŸ™‚

      • Hudson Howl

        October 15, 2013 at 2:21 am

        I followed.

        Art is notorious for reinventing from the ashes. Even the Chinese can not escape the duplicity of artistic expression.

  5. Manu Kurup

    October 10, 2013 at 2:18 am

    wonderfully creative, all of them. And, thanks for bringing it to us. šŸ™‚


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