An immersive art museum will open in Boston in 2023

WNDR Museum will include unique, interactive works by local artists.

The interactive exhibit "Try To Get Higher" at WNDR Museum in Chicago. Hannah Shanker

An immersive art museum is opening in Downtown Crossing this winter.

WNDR Museum (pronounced “wonder”), a Chicago immersive art museum that opened in 2018, plans to expand to San Diego, Seattle, and Boston in 2023. The Boston museum will open in Downtown Crossing’s Lafayette City Center at 500 Washington St.

The Chicago museum, featuring work by local and global artists, was recently named one of the 10 best immersive art experiences in the U.S. by USA Today readers. Current Chicago exhibits include Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Let’s Survive Forever,” which features an infinity mirrored room, and the popular WNDR Light Floor, made up of hundreds of motion sensored LED panels.


“We’ve been building something really special in Chicago,” said Ryan Kunkel, president of WNDR Global, adding that the team is “ecstatic” about bringing the museum to Boston.

Boston is the perfect place for a WNDR Museum, Kunkel said.

“It’s a city with so much rich history and context and culture but, to our knowledge, it doesn’t have this new-age art and technology experience that we’re excited to bring to the city,” he said.

The 17,000 square-foot museum will be located on the main level of Lafayette Center and include a cafe, lounge, and retail area. It’s a great space for special events, Kunkel said, and for WNDR Museum’s youth programming and STEAM education.

WNDR Museum Boston will include unique, interactive works by local artists, who will also work with acclaimed artist David Allen, the head of WNDR studios. Allen is best known for his work as a tattoo artist supporting people after mastectomy surgery.

The Chicago exhibit “Let’s Survive Forever” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. WNDR Museum

“Things are coming together in a beautiful way,” Kunkel said. “We are curating an amazing space in partnership with local artists. We are solidifying pieces of fine art that we will be able to showcase and then we have some really bleeding-edge pieces of technology that we’ll be integrating into new exhibits that we’re excited to unveil in the space.”


People are seeking immersive experiences right now, especially after living through the COVID-19 pandemic, Kunkel said.

“I think people are appreciating real life human-to-human engagement and community-based activities and things that are new and different,” he said.

“We are excited to bring this new tenant to the city which will not only be a vibrant destination for nearby residents and office workers, but also bring in new tourists and visitors from across the city, region and globe,” said Audrey Epstein Reny, co-CEO of The Abbey Group, the local owner of Lafayette City Center, in a statement.

Art is changing, Kunkel said, and digital artists with massive followings are sparking new conversations about the construct of art — and who is an artist.

“There’s so much change happening both in the physical and digital art world,” said Kunkel, and his museum “integrates the two into a compelling space that combines art, plus technology, plus you the individual where no two guests have the same experience. Unlike the traditional museum, we’re asking you to ignite your curiosity and interact and engage.”

Tickets for WNDR Museum Boston will cost $32 to $38 for adults and $22 to $28 for children age 3 to 12, depending on the time and day of the visit.


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