The Institute of Contemporary Art serves to display and honor contemporary art, including visual, film/video, performance, and literature and offer educational programs to eager visitors. After the museum opened in 1948, its focus on contemporary art soon became the model for other museums of contemporary art to emulate. The museum began its permanent collection in 2006; among its strengths are works by women artists.


  • The Institute of Contemporary Art opened in 1948 and moved into to this building in 2006.
    The Institute of Contemporary Art opened in 1948 and moved into to this building in 2006.

The museum was originally founded in 1936 and was then called The Boston Museum of Art. It quickly began to develop an excellent reputation for new artists and changed to its current name in 1948. The museum led the artistic front in video art and new media and created several innovative programs in the 1990s, such as a teen filmmaking program.  

Many prominent artists were introduced to the United States through the Institute of Contemporary Art, including Georges Braque, Oskar Kokoschka, and Edvard Munch, and many held presentations here early in the career, such Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Laurie Anderson.  

"History." Institute of Contemporary Art. Accessed May 8, 2015.  http://www.icaboston.org/about/history.

Photo: Institute of Contemporary Art, via Wikimedia Commons
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