New Hampshire  is known more for its outdoor pursuits than its fine art. Perhaps that’s why philanthropist Moody Currier left money in his will for an endowment “to elevate the quality of life in New Hampshire.” Built on the site of Currier’s Victorian house, the fantastic Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., 603/669-6144, www.currier.org , 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun., Mon., Wed.–Fri.; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.; closed Tue., $10 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students, free children under 18 and to all Sat. 10 a.m.–noon) is now the foremost museum in northern New England.
The focus of the Currier Museum of Art is on American and New England artists, with paintings by the likes of Frank Benson, Andrew Wyeth, Childe Hassam, Fitz Hugh Lane, and John Singer Sargeant. But the collection also includes a fine gallery of European paintings and galleries with decorative furniture and photographs.
The Currier Museum of Art also owns the Zimmerman House (tours 2 p.m. Mon. Thu., and Fri.; 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Sat.; 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sun., $18 adults, $17 seniors, $16 students, $8 children 7–17, children under 7 not allowed; rates include museum admission), the only house by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in New England open for tours. A shuttle bus departs the Currier for the home several times a day for short or in-depth narrated walk-throughs. Wright’s attention to detail in the home is astounding. From the gardens to the built-in furniture to the mailbox, everything in the home seems designed in a single stylish vision.