Art exhibits opening in and around Boston this summer

Things to Do

Discover new installations coming to the MFA, the ICA, and more.

“The Space Congregation (No Surprise to Find the Angels Come Here),” a 2019 work by Tau Lewis, whose new exhibit opens at the ICA this summer. ICA

Summer in Boston isn’t all about sunny walks on the Esplanade and dining al fresco. There’s also plenty of inside fun at museums across the city, perfect for both sunny and rainy days. Read on to discover the new art exhibits opening in and around Boston June through August, such as the Dalí display coming to the MFA and a new interactive installation at PEM. There are also exhibits opening at Boston’s smaller museums like the MassArt Art Museum and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

June 1 — Jan. 4, 2026

This new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem spotlights the many different artist interpretations of the iconic 1851 book “Moby Dick,” which takes place in Massachusetts and in the waters off the coast. “Draw Me Ishmael” displays the book arts of hundreds of different editions of “Moby Dick” published in the last 170 years, mostly drawn from PEM’s own Phillips Library collection.

June 13 — Sept. 8

This summer, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which offers new exhibits each season, features the work of artists who use portrait photographs as forms of LGBTQIA+ self-discovery and community making. The Hostetter Gallery will display “On Christopher Street: Transgender Portrait” by Mark Seliger, the Fenway Gallery will display “Portraits From Boston, With Love” by Olivia Slaughter, JayPix Belmer, and Ally Schmaling, and the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade will display “Possession of a Recalcitrant Dream” (2024) by Hakeem Adewumi from June 4 through Oct. 1.

June 27 — Dec. 8

MassArt Art Museum, always free and open to the public, opens “Displacement” on June 27, exploring the relationship between industrialized civilization and the natural world. Through a range of media by contemporary artists like film, sculpture, textile art, and even scents, the exhibit explores how humans have altered the sea, the land, and the air, and how the natural world has responded to these changes, via migration, adaptation, and extinction.

July 6 — Dec. 1

Opening July 6, this new exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts highlights over two dozen works from the famous surrealist artist Salvatore Dalí, on loan from the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, juxtaposing them with many of the MFA’s own masterpieces from European artists whom Dalí studied, like El Greco and Velázquez. The exhibit brings some of Dalí’s best-known works to Boston, like “Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.”

Aug. 3 — March 2, 2025

This interactive installation opening at PEM in Salem this August envisions a world without borders, and encourages viewers to navigate their way through a display of geographic globes whose borders and other manmade markers have been removed. Designed by Argentinian artist Agustina Woodgate, the exhibit also features historical navigation instruments and a video that uses AI to reconstruct erased maps.

Aug. 29 — Jan. 26

Late this summer, the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Seaport exhibits the work of Jamaican-Canadian artist Tau Lewis, who uses found materials to create soft-looking artwork like quilts, masks, and soft sculptures. She sources her upcycled materials like fabrics, photos, seashells, and worn clothing from her surroundings at her home bases in New York, Toronto, and Jamaica, and her work focuses on themes like material inventiveness and healing throughrepetitive, creative labor.

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