Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

(19406)

The MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 500,000 works of art. We welcome more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs.

Like Monet and Pissarro before him, Paul Signac frequently selected sites along the Seine to experiment with technique a...
11/11/2019

Like Monet and Pissarro before him, Paul Signac frequently selected sites along the Seine to experiment with technique and nature observation. The artist’s system of juxtaposing dots ("points" of contrasting color) to create a continuous image was particularly well-suited to depicting the sparkling surface of water, as in this view of a bend in the river opposite the town of Herblay.

Signac was born on this day in 1863. See "View of the Seine at Herblay" (1889) on view in our Art of Europe galleries!

Happy Veterans Day! Today and every day the MFA offers free admission to active-duty personnel, veterans and up to five ...
11/11/2019

Happy Veterans Day! Today and every day the MFA offers free admission to active-duty personnel, veterans and up to five family members. Our Military Access Program also includes free monthly drop-in tours and a $30 discount on membership.

Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings were revolutionary when they first appeared in 1947. To make them, he secured the can...
11/10/2019

Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings were revolutionary when they first appeared in 1947. To make them, he secured the canvas to the floor and stood over it, drizzling, dripping and flinging paint with rhythmic gestures. As innovative as his technique was, it had roots in Surrealist experiments with the unconscious; Pollock claimed that when he was creating such a painting he was in a trancelike state. He noted: “Today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. Most modern painters work from a different source. They work from within.” #HeartArt

🎨: "Number 10" (1949), alkyd (synthetic paint) and oil on canvas mounted on panel, on view in our Art of the Americas Wing

Congratulations to Sesame Street on their 50th anniversary! #Sesame50 📷: Puppeteer and producer Jim Henson (1990) by ...
11/10/2019

Congratulations to Sesame Street on their 50th anniversary! #Sesame50

📷: Puppeteer and producer Jim Henson (1990) by Yousuf Karsh

Photographer Robert Frank (1924—2019) was born on this day. His 1951 photograph "The Day Before Arriving in New York" ...
11/09/2019

Photographer Robert Frank (1924—2019) was born on this day. His 1951 photograph "The Day Before Arriving in New York" is on view in "Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection."

This realist-style painting, "Museum Epiphany" (2012) by Warren Prosperi, features visitors viewing sculptures and paint...
11/09/2019

This realist-style painting, "Museum Epiphany" (2012) by Warren Prosperi, features visitors viewing sculptures and paintings in our Salon Gallery—the very space that it depicts. The focal point is a mother and daughter engaged in conversation and wearing flowing white dresses that echo the draping of gowns on two nearby marble statues. A self-educated artist, Prosperi is known for his ability to make his subjects come to life, prompting viewers to ponder what they are thinking. He learned his craft by copying works by Old Masters at the MFA. #HeartArt

For #FridayReads, immerse yourself in the world of Kay Nielsen's "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," the beloved Dan...
11/08/2019

For #FridayReads, immerse yourself in the world of Kay Nielsen's "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," the beloved Danish artist's most ambitious publication project. You can see the original illustrations on view at the Museum, but don't forget to also take home the book from the MFA Shop: http://bit.ly/2Ck5zmu

During Nubia's Napatan Period (750–332 B.C.E.), royal families adorned their mummies with elaborate trappings, includi...
11/08/2019

During Nubia's Napatan Period (750–332 B.C.E.), royal families adorned their mummies with elaborate trappings, including funerary masks, beaded nets, and strips of precious metal inscribed with hieroglyphs. This gilded silver mask comes from the tomb of Malakaye, a wife of King Tanwetamani, who ruled over Nubia and Egypt from 664 to 653 B.C.E. Gold was the color of divine flesh, so portraying the queen with gold skin identifies her as immortal.

See more objects made for Nubia's powerful kings and queens in our exhibition "Ancient Nubia Now," now on view: http://bit.ly/2pHcX93

It's been a doggone good day at the MFA! Riley the Museum Dog has a new friend—this larger-than-life sculpture by arti...
11/07/2019

It's been a doggone good day at the MFA! Riley the Museum Dog has a new friend—this larger-than-life sculpture by artist Yosh*tomo Nara called "Your Dog" (2003). Standing nearly six feet tall (see Riley for scale) and weighing almost 600 pounds, the fiberglass work is now on view in the Shapiro Family Courtyard! 🐶 🐾

11/07/2019
Patricia Zárate-Pérez at MFA Boston

Patricia Zárate-Pérez stopped by the Museum yesterday to preview her concert on Friday evening! Don't miss her smooth alto sax stylings at the MFA tomorrow as she premiers her latest album, "Violetas!" We're proud to partner with IBA - Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción to showcase Zárate-Pérez's masterful blend of jazz and Latin American rhythms.

Tickets are still available! http://bit.ly/2NsH0ua

Designed by famed New York designer Louis Comfort Tiffany, this necklace from about 1910 combines styles of the Arts and...
11/07/2019

Designed by famed New York designer Louis Comfort Tiffany, this necklace from about 1910 combines styles of the Arts and Crafts movement with Art Nouveau ideas to emphasize color and natural forms. Jewelry like this necklace would have influenced Boston designers like Edward Everett Oakes, who studied under Tiffany in the early 20th century.

See it in our exhibition "Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork": http://bit.ly/2r3qBUb

This photograph by Marc Riboud captures the humble expression of a 17-year-old girl at the 1967 March on Washington, whe...
11/06/2019

This photograph by Marc Riboud captures the humble expression of a 17-year-old girl at the 1967 March on Washington, when more than 100,000 people protested against the war in Vietnam. She holds a chrysanthemum in front of her face as she boldly confronts National Guard soldiers armed with bayonets. Riboud’s pairing of bayonet and flower symbolizes the two sides of the conflict in America and evokes the intensity of a tumultuous era that left a bitter legacy.

See some of the most enduring and powerful photographs of the 20th century are brought together in "Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection."

#TriviaTuesday: For long periods of time, part or all of Nubia fell under Egyptian control. However, in the 8th and 7th ...
11/05/2019

#TriviaTuesday: For long periods of time, part or all of Nubia fell under Egyptian control. However, in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.E., Nubian kings ruled over Egypt as the 25th Dynasty. Do you know the name of the king under whom Nubia's empire reached its greatest extent?

Love the movie Black Panther? Explore what “some call the real-life Wakanda” at the MFA in “Ancient Nubia Now.”L...
11/04/2019

Love the movie Black Panther? Explore what “some call the real-life Wakanda” at the MFA in “Ancient Nubia Now.”

Learn more about how the exhibition sets the record straight on ancient Nubia, a series of powerful African kingdoms that PRI Public Radio International says could be “the fictional, ultra-advanced African country in the movie”: http://bit.ly/2PDckrq

📷: Pyramids at Gebel Barkal, taken on May 19, 1920 by Mohammedani Ibrahim Ibrahim

Today is Ask A Conservator Day! The MFA's conservation team is here to answer your questions about paintings, paper, obj...
11/04/2019

Today is Ask A Conservator Day! The MFA's conservation team is here to answer your questions about paintings, paper, objects, frames, furniture and any other topics related to what they do and how they do it.

Answering questions are:

✔️ Charlotte Ameringer, Conservator, Van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio
✔️ Yuqi Chock, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Advanced Training, Furniture and Frame Conservation Lab
✔️ Andrew Haines, Associate Conservator, Frame Conservation Lab
✔️ Abigail Hykin, Conservator, Objects Conservation Lab
✔️ Katrina Newbury, Saundra B. Lane Associate Conservator, Deknatel Paper Conservation Lab
✔️ Flavia Perugini, Associate Conservator, Objects Conservation Lab
✔️ Christine Storti, Associate Conservator, Furniture Conservation Lab
✔️ Gerri Strickler, Associate Conservator, Objects Conservation Lab
✔️ Lydia Vagts, Cunningham Associate Conservator of Paintings, Van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio
✔️Hsin-Chen Tsai, Associate Conservator, Asian Conservation Studio, Chinese Paintings Section

After graduating from the SMFA (now the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University), Loïs Mailou Jones studi...
11/03/2019

After graduating from the SMFA (now the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University), Loïs Mailou Jones studied in Paris. There she felt “released… from all the pressure and stagnation” that Black artists confronted in the United States. Returning to Boston, she said: “I discovered that not only being Black, but being a woman created a double handicap for me to face.” Over the ensuing decades, as an acclaimed painter and esteemed professor at Howard University, Jones would pave the way for generations of female artists of color to follow.

See "Ubi Girl from Tai Region" (1972) in "Women Take the Floor," now on view: http://bit.ly/323TQDd

This Monday is the first Ask A Conservator Day! Comment with your most pressing questions about how our expert Conservat...
11/02/2019

This Monday is the first Ask A Conservator Day! Comment with your most pressing questions about how our expert Conservation team cleans paintings, polishes silver, chooses frames, restores furniture & keeps our collection safe for generations to come.

The open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris, were popular recreation spots for city dwellers, i...
11/02/2019

The open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris, were popular recreation spots for city dwellers, including the Impressionist painters. In "Dance at Bougival" (1883), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who was primarily a figure painter, uses intense color and lush brushwork to heighten the sense of pleasure conveyed by the whirling couple who dominate the composition. The woman's face, framed by her red bonnet, is the focus of attention, both ours and her companion's. #HeartArt

In Kay Nielsen's illustration for "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweeper" (about 1917), two porcelain figurines have c...
11/01/2019

In Kay Nielsen's illustration for "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweeper" (about 1917), two porcelain figurines have come to life and are guided by the light of the moon as they escape the clutches of a jealous satyr statuette.

See the artist's original illustrations up close in "Kay Nielsen's Enchanted Vision: The Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection," now on view: http://bit.ly/36ocOHO

In "A Modern Magdalen" (about 1888), William Merritt Chase refers to the Biblical figure of Mary Magdalen, a follower of...
11/01/2019

In "A Modern Magdalen" (about 1888), William Merritt Chase refers to the Biblical figure of Mary Magdalen, a follower of Christ who traditionally was depicted as a reformed prostitute, usually beautiful and sometimes nude. Chase's model turns away from the viewer, her virtue implied by her modest pose. Her modernity is revealed in the contemporary setting-the Asian fabrics that surround her were the height of fashion in 1888.

Chase was born on this day in 1849. See "A Modern Magdalen" in our Art of the Americas Wing!

Sending our love to the people of Okinawa and Japan following the devastating fire at Shuri, which served as the adminis...
10/31/2019

Sending our love to the people of Okinawa and Japan following the devastating fire at Shuri, which served as the administrative center of the Ryukyu Kingdom for hundreds of years.

This document box (16th–17th centuries) bears the stylized heaven (tian) character and the fan-shaped mark on its interior indicating that it once belonged to the Ryukyu royal family.

Happy Halloween! 👻🎨: "Fantastic Inkwell (Self-Portrait as a Sphinx)" (1880), Sarah Bernhardt
10/31/2019

Happy Halloween! 👻

🎨: "Fantastic Inkwell (Self-Portrait as a Sphinx)" (1880), Sarah Bernhardt

A witch for Halloween, you ask? We’ve got plenty, thanks to the recent gift of the Joel Wayne Collection of Hand-Drawn...
10/30/2019

A witch for Halloween, you ask? We’ve got plenty, thanks to the recent gift of the Joel Wayne Collection of Hand-Drawn Postcards! For nearly 50 years, the collector assembled 1,600 cards, ranging from 20th-century American groupings dedicated to holidays, travel, and fashion to important World War I images drawn by soldiers in the trenches on both sides of the front. The addition of the Wayne Collection helps secure the MFA’s role as the leading center for the study of postcards. The Museum has nearly 130,000 cards in its collection, which includes the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive, donated in 2010.

Pictured: “Halloween Witch” (about 1905) from the Joel Wayne Collection of Postcards

This painting by Hyman Bloom was featured in a full-page illustration in TIME magazine in 1954. The caption read, "Hyman...
10/30/2019

This painting by Hyman Bloom was featured in a full-page illustration in TIME magazine in 1954. The caption read, "Hyman Bloom brings bravura brushwork of a society portrait to his gory 'Slaughtered Animal.'" The subject of flayed animal carcasses had challenged many artists before Bloom—including Rembrandt, whom he greatly admired.

See "Slaughtered Animal" (1953, Collection of Robert Alimi and Amy D. Kuilema) among approximately 70 dramatic works featured in "Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death," now on view: http://bit.ly/33TQx2G

10/29/2019

Celebrating National Cat Day with this grumpy feline newly on view in our Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art 🐈

🎨: "Grey Cat with Madrone and Birch Trees" (1968), enamel on canvas, Joan Brown, on view in "Contemporary Art: Five Propositions"

#TriviaTuesday: Georg Petel's sculpture of "The Three Graces" (about 1624) is based on a painting of the same subject by...
10/29/2019

#TriviaTuesday: Georg Petel's sculpture of "The Three Graces" (about 1624) is based on a painting of the same subject by what famous Flemish Baroque painter?

What's new in the galleries? Our recent installation of Chinese art highlights paintings of women, which before the Song...
10/28/2019

What's new in the galleries? Our recent installation of Chinese art highlights paintings of women, which before the Song dynasty almost always focused on those of high social status. Starting from the Song (960–1279), artists began to include a broader range of female figures.

In Su Hanchen's "Lady at her dressing table in a garden" (mid-12th century), a woman is arranging her hairdo and makeup as she sits on a red-lacquer bench covered by a patterned textile.

New scholarship and perspectives are reshaping the way we understand the history of Nubia, an ancient civilization that ...
10/28/2019

New scholarship and perspectives are reshaping the way we understand the history of Nubia, an ancient civilization that flourished in the Nile Valley. In 1913, the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, led by former MFA curator George A. Reisner, uncovered this statue depicting the wife of an Egyptian governor in a royal tomb at Kerma, the capital of an early Nubian kingdom. Trusting Egyptian propaganda that described Nubia as always subordinate to Egypt—and blinded by his own biases—Reisner misinterpreted Kerma as an Egyptian military outpost. In an interesting twist of fate, his own careful records, along with recent discoveries and more open-minded reading of Egyptian sources, have been instrumental in proving that he had it almost entirely backward. We now believe that an army from Kerma attacked Egypt, looted sanctuaries and brought objects—such as this masterpiece of Egyptian sculpture—home to Nubia as souvenirs and status symbols.

Learn more about Nubia’s history and how it has evolved over time in our exhibition “Ancient Nubia Now,” now on view: http://bit.ly/2MP9JJj

📷: Lady Sennuwy (Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret I, 1971–1926 B.C.E.); archival photograph from the Harvard–MFA Expedition taken by Mohammedani Irbahim Ibrahim

In 1915, the MFA, in partnership with Harvard University, excavated an Egyptian tomb that had been plundered by tomb rob...
10/28/2019

In 1915, the MFA, in partnership with Harvard University, excavated an Egyptian tomb that had been plundered by tomb robbers. The tomb contained two coffins, funerary objects and this mummified head. It shed light on the lifestyle of local governor and priest Djehutynakht and his wife, for whom the tomb was built. But a question still remained—did the head belong to the governor or his wife? In 2009, a tooth was carefully extracted by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and the DNA was tested without a conclusive answer. In December 2018, a team of FBI forensic specialists used cutting-edge technology and determined that... it's a boy! #HeartArt

Lee Krasner was an integral member of the New York School that made Abstract Expressionism famous. Born on this day in 1...
10/27/2019

Lee Krasner was an integral member of the New York School that made Abstract Expressionism famous. Born on this day in 1908, she experimented continually with the mood, color, texture, material and compositions of her paintings.⁣

🎨: "Sunspots" (1963), collection of Ms. Leslie Dressler

This enigmatic watercolor by Andrew Wyeth depicts the interior of Mother Archie’s Church in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania....
10/26/2019

This enigmatic watercolor by Andrew Wyeth depicts the interior of Mother Archie’s Church in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Over a career that spanned seven decades, Wyeth became—and still remains—one of the most popular American artists of the 20th century. His wide appeal and unchanging realist style excluded him from serious art historical scholarship until recent years, when several major museums around the country organized solo exhibitions of Wyeth’s work.

Learn more about this work and other paintings acquired by the MFA between 1941 and 1957 as part of an experimental project called the Provisional Collection in "Collecting Stories: A Mid-Century Experiment." http://bit.ly/32NJJmU

This is Degas's largest surviving sculpture and the only one he titled and exhibited. The original wax version, a portra...
10/26/2019

This is Degas's largest surviving sculpture and the only one he titled and exhibited. The original wax version, a portrait of a young Belgian dancer named Marie van Goethem, was shown at the 1881 Impressionist exhibition in Paris. The wax was tinted to resemble flesh, she wore a wig of real hair, and was dressed in pink slippers and bodice in addition to a skirt and ribbon similar to those on this cast. The excessive naturalism of the work offended many viewers, but the critic J.-K. Huysmans called it "the only really modern attempt that I know in sculpture."

Pictured: "Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer" (original model 1878–81, cast after 1921), bronze, gauze and satin

In "Standing Figure" (1908), Picasso translates the subject into simplified, geometric forms, reflecting qualities he as...
10/25/2019

In "Standing Figure" (1908), Picasso translates the subject into simplified, geometric forms, reflecting qualities he associated with sculptural artwork from Africa and Oceania that he engaged with in Paris. Using only a few colors, he focuses our attention on the intersection of these forms, linking figure and ground in a dynamic, curving rhythm.

See more works by Picasso, born on this day in 1881, in our European Wing.

10/24/2019
The Importance of North Light: Building a New Conservation Center at the MFA

Construction of our new conservation center is in full swing! Opening next summer, the state-of-the-art space will span 22,000 square feet and feature six interdisciplinary laboratories, a learning center and advanced technology. We recently hit a milestone with the installation of five skylights on top of the roof—allowing our conservation team to work under ideal lighting conditions. Hear from Rhona MacBeth and Pamela Hatchfield on the importance of working under north light and watch as the nearly 10 foot-by-10 foot skylights are installed. Learn more about the new center: http://bit.ly/32rFi1c

Address

465 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
02115

Take the Green Line E car or 39 bus to the Museum of Fine Arts stop or the Orange Line train or bus routes 8, 47, or CT2 to the Ruggles stop.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 22:00
Thursday 10:00 - 22:00
Friday 10:00 - 22:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(617) 267-9300

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