The Lab: Chaos

In Sheila Pepe’s work and in the world around us, chaos and beauty co-exist in delightful and unexpected ways. We invite you to explore this duality in The Lab and then step into the galleries and outside with fresh eyes.
Experience and learn about chaos as you build individual and collaborative sculptures using string, everyday objects, and your imagination. Explore the ideas around Chaos Theory and The Butterfly Effect, and curl up with related books in the Reading Lab. Bring your friends and family and relax in The Lab, where art, science and nature come out to play.


The Lab is open during Museum building hours. Regular admission rates apply.

Enjoying The Lab

Safety and Comfort
Touching is absolutely allowed in The Lab, as well as in the Process Gallery and Reading Area on the 3rd floor. However, it is not allowed in any of the other Museum galleries.

Food and drink are not allowed anywhere in the Museum building. Please enjoy these in the Park or in our new Café.

Please leave The Lab for others as you found it. 

Location and Logistics
The Lab is located on the 4th floor of the Museum building on the hill (where the Café used to be).
(Note: the deCordova | Café is now conveniently located next to deCordova | Store just off the parking lot.)

When visiting The Lab, we suggest that you use front or backpacks for carrying young children.

If you need to bring a stroller, you can enter the Museum building either:

  • Through the front entrance facing the parking lot. You will need to take two different elevators to reach the 4th floor. Front desk staff can help direct you. 
  • Through the Pondside Doors on the far side of the Museum facing the Pond. You will enter the Museum building on the 3rd floor and will need to take one elevator to reach the 4th Floor.
  • UPDATE (7/9/18): The elevator to the 4th floor is temporarily out of order. We apologize for this inconvenience. 

Please bring strollers inside The Lab with you so that they do not interfere with the gallery exhibitions and group tours.

Please hold your children’s hands while walking through the Museum galleries to keep both people and art safe.