The city of Boston is a fantastic destination for art buffs with a collection of impressive museums. One of the coolest, the ICA, or Institute of Contemporary Art, has changed locations over 13 times since its founding in 1936 and features our city’s premier modern art installations.

Here are 6 reasons to visit the ICA:

The Location

Few museum locations are as beautiful as the art found within them. For the ICA, this is certainly the case. Positioned in South Boston’s Seaport District and with a second floor literally perched over the Harbor, the museum has truly taken advantage of the scenery. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a plethora of glass doors and windows allow guests spectacular views of the sea.

The Permanent Collection

In 2006 the ICA established a permanent collection and it has quickly become an important resource for contemporary culture in Boston. With a focus on female artists, it includes artwork from a vast range of media. Some of the most well-known contributors are Shepard Fairey, Doris Salcedo, and Mona Hatoum.

First Light: A Decade of Collecting at the ICA

This new exhibition celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the museum’s move to its current location and it opened this August. It features permanent collection pieces and new acquisitions, stand-alone and interrelated exhibitions, and is broken up thematically by artist historical significance. Some of the most notable artists featured are Andy Warhol, Kara Walker, and Louise Bourgeois.

The Performances

In addition to the more traditional forms of artwork in the museum, guests can also watch an array of exciting performance artists. These include theater, dance, music, film, and everything in between. “Summer Fridays” is a current weekly event where guest DJ’s like DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler of Arcade Fire) play sets from 5-9pm—dancing is strongly encouraged. Another weekly event, “Harborwalk Sounds” brings Berklee College of Music’s most talented musicians to perform on the ICA’s waterfront.

The Building

The exquisite architecture of the building is truly a work of contemporary art. The structure is the brainchild of award-winning designers Diller Scofidio + Renfro and is their first in the United States.

The ICA Store

For those who want to take a bit of the museum home with them, the gift store has a large collection of fascinating souvenirs. ICA gifts make great presents for relatives and friends interested in modern art or just out of the ordinary artifacts.

image @imaginebos