This guide will help you get ready for your upcoming visit to the Danforth Art Museum. You will learn where to enter the building, what the Museum is like, and who is there to help you during your time at the Museum.
The Danforth Art Museum has paintings and sculptures ranging from 200 years old to a few months old, almost exclusively by American artists.
Arriving + Parking
The parking lot and bus drop off is behind the museum.
The main entrance is up a short pathway. Entrance is accessible.
Entering the Building
The first floor lobby is small and painted in shades of green. The elevator is through the archway, to the left. Press button for the second floor.
Historic Front Door Stairs to Historic Front Door
If you prefer not to ride the elevator, you will need to be able to walk around to the front of the building, which requires climbing stairs. Call the front desk (508-215-2109) and a staff member will greet you at the historic front door.
Inside the Museum
When you enter the Museum it is cool and dry and the galleries are dimly lit. There are no windows in the galleries; these conditions keep the art safe. Sometimes it can be a bit cold for visitors, especially in the winter, so make sure to bring an extra coat or sweater!
During the week, the museum is usually quiet and calm. There are times when it is noisier if there are other visitors or group tours. Exhibitions change three times a year which can make the Museum look and sound a little different. It’s ok to wear ear coverings or sunglasses, hold a favorite object, or ask a staff member for a quiet space if you need a break.
When you step out of the elevator, you will be facing the front desk. Here you will pay for admisson to the Museum. A Visitor Services Staff member will greet you when it is your turn; usually there is no wait.
At the Front Desk there are general Museum brochures, a gallery map, and information about the current exhibitions. If you would like to take home a complimentary Danforth pen feel free to take one.
Coat Rack + Bathrooms
There is a coat rack for you to leave your jacket if you would like. The Visitor Services staff can help hang your items, and they will also store any large bags and keep them safe for you.
Ask the Visitor Services person to point you in the direction of the bathrooms. Don’t worry that it is dark down the short hallway to the bathrooms; the lights will turn on when they sense movement. The men’s room is to the left and the women’s room is to the right.
Map of Museum
Museum is only on one floor.
Historic front entrance
The artwork is displayed in the five galleries and the hallway. The colorful spaces on the map are galleries you can enter. The dark grey rooms are for staff of the museum only.
All of the people who work at the Museum can help you during your visit. Whenever you have a question or need assistance, they are happy to help.
Stay with an adult or your group
Keep bags at your side or in front of you
Talk quietly Take photos
Do not touch the artwork
No flash please No food or drink in the galleries
Be respectful of the Museum, artwork, and other visitors. Images without an ‘X’ are good behaviors while in the Museum and those with an ‘X’ are not okay.
Enjoy Your Visit
There is no right or wrong way to see the Museum, though if you would like, the Front Desk staff can help you with a place to start. Go at your own pace and take breaks when needed. There are benches in most gallery spaces.
If you need to go to a quiet space, talk to a member of your group or a museum staff member. They can bring you to a quiet place or a room that is safe for a snack break.
We have an app for the Danforth Museum too! You can download our app on The App Store or The Google Play Store. There is more information about each exhibition in the App.
There are a few different artwork scavenger hunts and activity sheets available if you would like an activity during your visit. Ask the person at the front desk.
When you come, we may be changing our exhibitions; some galleries might be roped off or gallery entrances may be covered. If a gallery is blocked off, it means you cannot enter.
You also might hear or see people hanging artwork or you may see artwork lying down on the floor or leaning against the walls. That is okay; it is waiting for its turn to be put up! You may watch and ask questions of the people hanging the artwork. Please do not touch any artwork that is on the ground.
Exhibitions change several times a year; there is often something new to see!
Permanent Collection Gallery
This gallery (marked in green on the map on page 7) is for the art that the Danforth Art Museum owns.
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller Gallery
This gallery (marked in yellow on the map on page 7) is all the sculpture of one woman Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller. There are many works, both finished and unfinished, in a large, lit cabinet. Make sure to pull out the drawers to see more works!
There is also a recreation of her attic studio that she worked out of from 1910 to 1928. Make sure to stay behind the black bar as her studio is just like any other artwork — do not touch.
The Meta Vaux Warrick Fulley Gallery is permanently on view.
Leaving the Museum
When you are ready to leave the museum, take the elevator to the first floor. This will bring you back to the lobby and the parking lot. Thank you for visiting! We hope to see you again soon!
Danforth Art Museum
14 Vernon Street
Framingham, MA 01701
Open Tuesday - Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. Closed Monday
Thanks in large part to the Mass Cultural Council UP (Universal Participation) Learning Initiative for a fabulous training program and the funding to do this project.
Design and Photography by Rachel Passannante and Mary Erickson.
our App from The App Store or The Google Play Store