The Art Complex Museum, located in the historic town of Duxbury 33 miles south of Boston, serves as a regional art center and houses the impressive collection of the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser family. The history of the museum is interwoven with that of the Weyerhaeusers. Carl A. Weyerhaeuser, grandson of the founder of the lumber business, chose a Rembrandt print, The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight as a graduation gift when he completed his studies at Harvard University. He was drawn to works of art on paper, particularly European and American prints. His collecting interests soon expanded to include Shaker furniture, American paintings and Asian art. Highlights of the American painting collection include works by Sanford Gifford, Charles Burchfield and George Bellows.
Edith Weyerhaeuser encouraged her husband to build a museum to house his growing collection and to share it with others. The artist, Ture Bengtz, friend of the family and the museum’s first director, created an original design for the building under Weyerhaeuser’s direction which was turned over to an architect, Richard Owen Abbott, a fellow teacher of Bengtz’s at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Weyerhaeuser wanted to honor his heritage with a “monument towood” Situated on over thirteen acres of woodland and open fields, the handicapped accessible museum opened in 1971.
In addition to a gallery for rotating objects from the permanent collection, and exhibitions spaces that feature painting, sculpture, prints and craft objects created by contemporary artists, the museum houses the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Reference Library of over 5,000 publications. Located on the grounds is a Japanese tea hut, part of the museum’s Asian collection.
The museum offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions, lectures, concerts, classes, education programs, demonstrations, and tea ceremonies fulfilling the founders’ vision that their family’s many interests be shared with the community as the Weyerhaeuser family envisioned. This unique venue truly offers visitors an inviting place for viewing and learning about art in an intimate and comfortable setting.