Become A Member

Support Us



Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

  Get Directions Here

Open Everyday 10am-5pm
Friday: 10am-9pm

Public Art

Public Art

Pickup Music Project
Musical Fences: Reprise
May 1 – Fall of 2019

The Pickup Music Projects (PuMP's) growing collection of musical fences reimagine the form and intent of Paul Matisse's original sculpture, Musical Fence. Built in 1980, Matisse's piece was initially installed on the sidewalks of Central Square, Cambridge, for the public to enjoy. Nearly 40 years later, PuMP has revived this effort, paying homage to his work by building musical fences for installation in public places throughout Greater Boston.

The two fences in front of Boston Children's Museum contain a total of 90 tuned aluminum chimes. Tuned in the key of C major, the chimes sound a melody when rung from left to right, or right to left. Before coming to Boston Children's Museum (the second stop of the tour), the two fences were installed for four months in Cambridge Crossing, Cambridge. The team also has a pair of permanent musical fences along the Mystic River in Macdonald Park, Medford.

The Pickup Music Project (PuMP) takes its name from its initial aim – to make public spaces that allow for impromptu music making, just as public basketball courts allow for pick-up basketball. The team creates the conditions for such social soundmaking by building large, interactive sound sculptures. Because of their design, size, and novelty, their sculptures invite and encourage participation from all musical levels. Experienced musicians enjoy composing for them, just as "non-musicians" enjoy playing them. PuMP has installed their work temporarily at major music festivals and museums, and more permanently in public parks, cities, and campuses.

Funded by the Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

PlaySpace is closed for the construction of a new space for 0 to 3 year olds and their caregivers. While under renovation, look for special Pop-Up PlaySpace experiences and programs throughout the Museum. Learn more about Pop-Up PlaySpace

Plentiful Weekday & Weekend Discounted Parking Available