The Cyrus E. Dallin museum is in Arlington Center, just off of Mass Ave at the corner of Mystic Street (Route 60). The museum houses a wonderful collection of Dallin’s work that spans his wide talents. Housed in the Jefferson Cutter House, which was built in 1832, it is a great 1-2 hour visit and fascinating for seniors, children and adults alike.
The Cutter house itself is worth seeing and is the last salt and pepper colonial in Arlington. Originally owned by the Cutter family, owners of the Cutter Mills, it was moved from near the mill site two miles north of its current location in 1992. It was made available to the museum by the town in 1998 and in addition to the museum, has some meeting space in the basement where art exhibits are occasionally offered.
Cyrus Dallin was an important sculptor that moved to Arlington when he was 32 and lived there until his death in 1944. Well known and connected, many of his works feature Native Americans, but also include statesmen, generals, mythological figures and his family. Especially worthwhile is a sculpture of his cat – created in a day in response to a taunt from his son. His iconic “Appeal to the Great Spirit” has been in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston since 1912. The “Paul Revere Monument” resides in Boston’s North End Paul Revere Mall was famous enough to be parodied by the Marx brothers in Duck Soup. There is a wonderful sketch by John Singer Sargent of Dallin’s portico.
The total collection of about 60 pieces is housed in four intimate rooms. The docent / curators are superb and very patient and offer wonderful, insightful stories about the art and the man. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday 12 to 4PM.
There is on street parking or a large town lot directly behind the museum. Or, there is bus service from Harvard Square. There are tons of great restaurants in Arlington well as other tourist sites within an easy walk. Well worthwhile. A hidden gem. Their excellent web site can be accessed at http://dallin.org/
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