Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

(19503)

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.

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we're sharing this iconic work by the one and only Ansel Adams 🌎 The photographer'...
04/22/2020

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we're sharing this iconic work by the one and only Ansel Adams 🌎 The photographer's deep connection to the natural world resonates in new ways today, as the landscapes around us continue to change and be changed.

📷: "The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming" (1942), gelatin silver print, The Lane Collection

04/21/2020

Join us Thursday for a studio visit with Futura, one of the 12 artists featured in "Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation," whose practice embodies the seamless merging of visual art, design and music so characteristic of the post-graffiti moment.
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We have a special treat for today's edition of #TriviaTuesday: a scavenger hunt inspired by "Percy Jackson & the Olympia...
04/21/2020

We have a special treat for today's edition of #TriviaTuesday: a scavenger hunt inspired by "Percy Jackson & the Olympians," created by Laure Marest, Cornelius and Emily Vermeule Assistant Curator, Greek and Roman Art 🔍⁣

Will you accept to aid Percy in his quest to save the world from a terrible monster? Check out our Facebook Story 👆 to begin the adventure!⁣⁣
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🏺: Mixing bowl (volute-krater), Late Classical Period (about 365–355 B.C.E.), The Iliupersis Painter

On Patriots' Day, when we'd usually be celebrating the Boston Marathon, we're cheering on (socially distanced) runners e...
04/20/2020

On Patriots' Day, when we'd usually be celebrating the Boston Marathon, we're cheering on (socially distanced) runners everywhere!

🏃: "Two Runners (My Running, His Running)" (1978), by Michael Mazur, who lived in Cambridge

"The world has always been amazingly small and interconnected. The inscription on this blue-and-white brush holder from ...
04/19/2020

"The world has always been amazingly small and interconnected. The inscription on this blue-and-white brush holder from China’s Ming dynasty reflects that so beautifully: it reads “pen rest” in Persian. (Interesting fact: Chinese artists first got the cobalt they needed to make their famous blue-and-white ceramics through trade with Persia.)"

Thanks to Adam Tessier, our Barbara and Theodore Alfond Director of Interpretation, the MFA is joining the City of Boston to turn the Commonwealth blue as a way to thank essential workers. He's sharing some of his favorite blue works ahead of what would have been the Boston Marathon on Monday.

04/19/2020
Close Looking: Basquiat's "Hollywood Africans"

Jean-Michel Basquiat's “Hollywood Africans” (1983, Whitney Museum of American Art) features the artist's self-portrait alongside depictions of fellow artists Toxic and Rammellzee. Painted while the trio was visiting Los Angeles, the work speaks to Basquiat's interest in film history and ability to layer references, also a trademark technique of hip-hop lyricism. Let's take a closer look! 🧐

✒️ Peppered throughout the canvas, notations such as “tobacco,” “sugar cane” and “gangsterism” allude to the limited roles given to Black artists in both Hollywood and real life.

🏆 At the top, Basquiat drew a mummy figurine/Oscar statuette and nearby wrote “1940”—the year that Hattie McDaniel became the first Black performer to receive an Academy Award.

👑 On the bottom, he included his signature crown—linked to graffiti writers’ practice of designating the king of a train line.

Explore more elements of our exhibition "Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation" on our website: https://bit.ly/2Kgr4c2

We're so inspired by all your creative ways to stay connected to our collection! Here's the MFA edition of #BetweenArtAn...
04/18/2020

We're so inspired by all your creative ways to stay connected to our collection! Here's the MFA edition of #BetweenArtAndQuarantine ❤️

We're so inspired by all your creative ways to stay connected to our collection! Here's the MFA edition of #BetweenArtAndQuarantine ❤️

Today, we would have been opened "Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression," an exhibition that brings together all 35 of ou...
04/18/2020

Today, we would have been opened "Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression," an exhibition that brings together all 35 of our Claude Monet paintings for the first time in a generation to celebrate the MFA's 150th anniversary. Even though the Museum is closed, we still want to share these amazing masterpieces with you. While you wait to see these paintings in person, stay tuned for a virtual Monet experience coming soon!

For now, let's take a look at "Grainstack (Sunset)," painted in 1891. To the west of Monet’s home in Giverny was a small field where harvested grain was constructed into stacks and stored. In May 1891, Monet exhibited fifteen paintings of these grainstacks at Durand-Ruel’s Paris gallery, including this one. The exhibition was a critical and commercial success. Among American critics who lauded Monet’s Grainstacks was Cecilia Waern in Atlantic Monthly the following year: “Most wonderful of all is the way in which the painter manages, by mere pigments put on canvas, to make you feel all the heat and harmony and happiness of summer.” #MuseumFromHome

"Though it glistens just out of reach, I continue to pray for hope to shine through / Its glimmer lighting our way / Thi...
04/17/2020

"Though it glistens just out of reach, I continue to pray for hope to shine through / Its glimmer lighting our way / This long awaited great cosmic glow"⁣⁣
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This week, Yayoi Kusama issued a statement in the form of a poem in response to the ongoing pandemic. ⁣

"We shall fight / We shall fight this terrible monster" ❤️⁣⁣
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🎨: "Dots Infinity NOWH" (2004), acrylic on canvas

"Inside the pierced exterior layer of this pitcher is a second, functional container that would have held wine. That out...
04/17/2020

"Inside the pierced exterior layer of this pitcher is a second, functional container that would have held wine. That outside layer—technically masterful, delicate, intricate, with a beautiful turquoise glaze—has no function except to be beautiful. And it is."

Thanks to Adam Tessier, our Barbara and Theodore Alfond Director of Interpretation, the MFA is joining the City of Boston to turn the Commonwealth blue as a way to thank essential workers. He's sharing some of his favorite blue works ahead of what would have been the Boston Marathon on Monday.

"One of my early memories of my time as MFA director was traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet Alan at his home. We set ...
04/16/2020

"One of my early memories of my time as MFA director was traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet Alan at his home. We set aside an hour and spent almost three together, talking about art, museums, commitment and the importance of culture in our personal lives. He was a man of passion and belief, and he spoke of the honor of a professional calling. We were surrounded by his wonderful collection of Japanese baskets—metaphors for who he was—elegant, not overbearing, but filled with the spirit of creativity." —Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director

Remembering Alan Shestack's incredible contributions to the art world. Alan, who passed away this week, served as the MFA's director from 1987–93. During his tenure, he was dedicated to expanding the scope and interpretation of works of art, and prioritized collecting African and contemporary art, as well as modernist paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe and others from the Lane Collection.

Executed from as early as the age of 16 to the end of his life, and on canvas, paper and etching plate, the works in "Lu...
04/16/2020

Executed from as early as the age of 16 to the end of his life, and on canvas, paper and etching plate, the works in "Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits" trace the artist's development: from his early, more linear and graphic works to the fleshier painterly style that became the hallmark of his mature work. They also chart his life’s journey, from young boy to old man.

✏️ How have you changed over the years? How have you changed over the past few weeks? Share photos, drawings or paintings that trace your own aging over time and add them to the comments.

For #OneBostonDay, Mayor Marty Walsh has asked all of us to protect our fellow Bostonians by staying home, wearing a fac...
04/15/2020

For #OneBostonDay, Mayor Marty Walsh has asked all of us to protect our fellow Bostonians by staying home, wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing. #StayHome and stay safe—we can't wait to see you again soon 💙💛

📷: "Boston Common" (1973), Bill Arnold

Since 2013, daffodils have lined the race route for the Boston Marathon—a reminder of our city's resilience. On One Bost...
04/15/2020

Since 2013, daffodils have lined the race route for the Boston Marathon—a reminder of our city's resilience. On One Boston Day, we pay tribute to the healthcare workers and first responders who are keeping us safe and the essential workers keeping our communities running—as well as neighbors looking out for one another through acts of kindness. In the words of Mayor Walsh: "We will get through this difficult time, together, as one Boston."⁣

🎨: "Winter Daffodils" (about 1902), Sarah Wyman Whitman

"In Charles Sheeler’s small painting of tulips, the flowers fan out and twist in space. That space is strangely flat and...
04/14/2020

"In Charles Sheeler’s small painting of tulips, the flowers fan out and twist in space. That space is strangely flat and illusionistic at the same time—a very modern treatment of a very traditional still life motif, painted in a way that nods to the great French painter Cézanne."

Thanks to Adam Tessier, our Barbara and Theodore Alfond Director of Interpretation, the MFA is joining the City of Boston to turn the Commonwealth blue as a way to thank essential workers. He's sharing some of his favorite blue works ahead of what would have been the Boston Marathon on Monday.

#TriviaTuesday: In this painting, "The Field Hospital," Eastman Johnson honored the work performed by healthcare workers...
04/14/2020

#TriviaTuesday: In this painting, "The Field Hospital," Eastman Johnson honored the work performed by healthcare workers during what war?

04/13/2020
Pedal harp, made by Godefroi Holtzman, France (Paris), about 1785.mp4

This 18th-century French pedal harp was among the first instruments acquired by the Museum. The graceful outline of the harp lends itself to carved and painted decoration, which here includes rural scenes on the soundboard and Chinese-inspired designs on both sides of the curved neck.

See this instrument and more in our new video library: https://bit.ly/2wBGEf6

🎵: Nancy Hurrell performs Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz’s “Romance” from Sonata in B-Flat Major, op. 13, no. 1, on a pedal harp made by Godefroi Holtzman in Paris in about 1785.

Rosso Fiorentino's depiction of the very moment of the resurrection within the Holy Sepulchre is a message of optimism. ...
04/12/2020

Rosso Fiorentino's depiction of the very moment of the resurrection within the Holy Sepulchre is a message of optimism. The pain that Christ endured during the crucifixion is not displayed—rather, a near-perfect body as if to wake up to new life.

🎨: "The Dead Christ with Angels" (about 1524–27), oil on panel

Riley Update: Our good boy is doing well and enjoying some fresh air in the Calderwood Courtyard 🐶 #NationalPetDay
04/11/2020

Riley Update: Our good boy is doing well and enjoying some fresh air in the Calderwood Courtyard 🐶 #NationalPetDay

This sculpture (early 20th century) once decorated a grand house in the Lake Sentani region of New Guinea, its base cut ...
04/11/2020

This sculpture (early 20th century) once decorated a grand house in the Lake Sentani region of New Guinea, its base cut from a sturdy post rising out of the water. The sculpture’s curving shape and compact body is a symbol, not a portrait, of a male ancestor, and would have expressed a village chief’s responsibility to link past generations and their living descendants. Chiefs’ houses doubled as a sacred space where the living could honor and pray for blessings from the spirits of their ancestors.

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection.

Wondering about the scholar's rock in Parasite (now on Hulu)? Collecting and treasuring naturally formed rocks for their...
04/10/2020

Wondering about the scholar's rock in Parasite (now on Hulu)?

Collecting and treasuring naturally formed rocks for their visual expression—on par with the arts of painting and calligraphy—is an East Asian tradition that goes back over a thousand years. The forms and textures of these objects—large and small—can express powerful and emotional sensibilities. Recognizing these qualities, Chinese, Korean and Japanese art collectors are, even today, passionate about their rocks.

Allan Rohan Crite, a School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts graduate best known for documenting the everyday life of...
04/10/2020

Allan Rohan Crite, a School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts graduate best known for documenting the everyday life of African Americans in his South End neighborhood, also devoted a significant portion of his career to religious imagery.

This 1947 linoleum cut with hand additions in watercolor and gold leaf is one from a set of 14 "Stations of the Cross." Crite’s innovative decision to divide each composition into two parts, with the bottom section focusing only on the feet of the participants, emphasizes Christ’s humanity.

Thought to be the oldest object in the MFA's collection, this charming vessel (probably Syrian) is about 8,000 years old...
04/09/2020

Thought to be the oldest object in the MFA's collection, this charming vessel (probably Syrian) is about 8,000 years old. It takes the form of a hare, a relative of the rabbit distinguished by its longer ears.

The original function of the vessel remains a mystery, but the care taken by its Neolithic artist makes it clear that the hare held as much appeal for ancient viewers as it does for us today.

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection. This post is for Douglas Cuccoli!

In the Christian calendar, Holy Thursday commemorates the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his arre...
04/09/2020

In the Christian calendar, Holy Thursday commemorates the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his arrest; they had gathered together for the Passover feast.

This brightly colored, glazed ceramic tableau is made up of moveable figures, and the table is arrayed with ceramic vessels and knives like those that would have been used in 16th century Italy. It could be set up each year during Holy Week and shows that devotional practice could sometimes be a bit like playing with dolls, making religious experience accessible, hands-on and interactive.

🎨: "The Last Supper" (16th century, Italian)

Jean-François Millet lived and worked in rural France, portraying its inhabitants with dignity. He was also father of ni...
04/08/2020

Jean-François Millet lived and worked in rural France, portraying its inhabitants with dignity. He was also father of nine children and would have been quite familiar with such intimate scenes of a young child learning a skill from a parent or older sibling. Here, outdoor light coming in through the window bathes the quiet, domestic interaction in a peaceful glow.

🎨: "Knitting Lesson" (about 1854)

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection.

Each year, Jews sitting at the Passover table across the world read the Haggadah, the book that tells the story of the E...
04/08/2020

Each year, Jews sitting at the Passover table across the world read the Haggadah, the book that tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt and guides participants through the meal.

This recently acquired Haggadah was printed in 1874 in the city of Pune, in Western India. Written in Hebrew and translated in Mahrati, it shows the dish with the symbolic Passover food, men around the table, and women dressed in the Sahri baking the Matza (unleavened bread).

The MFA’s Artful Healing educators bring inspiration and art-making activities to Boston hospitals and healthcare center...
04/07/2020

The MFA’s Artful Healing educators bring inspiration and art-making activities to Boston hospitals and healthcare centers, and often focus on the calming power of nature in art. Try this activity for a moment of relaxation in a stressful day: Imagine you're standing in this landscape. If you stepped forward, where would the path take you? What would you hear? What would you smell, feel, and see? Close your eyes and imagine those sensations surrounding you.

🎨: "Road at La Cavée, Pourville" (1882), Claude Monet

This Buddha of Medicine (Korean, late 16th century) holds a jar of medicine and is accompanied by two bodhisattvas who a...
04/07/2020

This Buddha of Medicine (Korean, late 16th century) holds a jar of medicine and is accompanied by two bodhisattvas who assist him in his mission of healing. Around them are 12 armored guardian figures—the deities of the 12 hours of the day—who provide protection against disease around the clock.

On World Health Day, we're grateful for healthcare professionals protecting our communities today and every day.

"Even with the terrible racism and discrimination that Gordon Parks experienced during his youth, Fort Scott, Kansas rem...
04/06/2020

"Even with the terrible racism and discrimination that Gordon Parks experienced during his youth, Fort Scott, Kansas remained an emotional touchstone for the artist throughout his life. In the spring of 1950, he was approached by his LIFE magazine editors to do a feature on the corrosive issue of segregated education in the U.S. Parks proposed that he tackle the subject though the lens of his own childhood hometown. Returning after more than 20 years, he tracked down all 11 of his friends from the all-Black elementary school he attended and discovered that all but one of his former classmates—Luella Russell—had moved away. Parks took photos of Luella and her husband Clarence, as well as their daughter, Shirley Jean, and her boyfriend. Here, Shirley Jean and her beau stand forlornly outside the town’s segregated movie theater."

—Karen Haas, Lane Senior Curator of Photographs

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection.

04/06/2020
The Stroh Violin

"Around the turn of the 20th century, recording music wasn't so easy. A phonograph, with its large flared horn, took in sound waves from the environment and inscribed those waves onto a record. Instruments like the violin, which produced sound in radiating waves off its body without a singular direction, struggled to be heard by the phonograph. The phonographic violin, or Stroh violin, uses its own metal horn to amplify the sound of a resonating diaphragm and direct that sound toward the phonograph. It even includes a smaller horn that could be directed toward the player's ear."

—Bobby Giglio, Department Coordinator, Musical Instruments

A variant of the Stroh violin is still used today in the Bihor region of Romania, thus the traditional Romanian dance tunes performed by Mimi Rabson in this video.

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection. This post is for Chris Hardy!

"Finding examples of women wearing what looked like Boston Arts and Crafts jewelry was challenging, but I located an exa...
04/05/2020

"Finding examples of women wearing what looked like Boston Arts and Crafts jewelry was challenging, but I located an example in William McGregor Paxton's portrait of his mother. He was a painter who taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and included what appears to be an oval brooch, surrounded by a gold floral frame. The center stone has an inclusion that leads me to believe it's turquoise. In such a small city, and with such proximity to the metalwork students at the SMFA, Paxton would have been well aware of the colorful jewelry being produced in Boston."

—Emily Stoehrer, Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry, on her research for the exhibition "Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork"

🎨: "Portrait of the Artist's Mother (Rose Paxton)" (about 1902), William McGregor Paxton

💌 While the MFA is closed, we'll keep highlighting the #MuseumFromHome and share artworks from our collection. This post is for Jean R Husson!

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Due to the Best Antique Shows in the World Shutting Down- We created a Free Solution! A-One Week Digital Festival!!! The Digital Brimfield Festival is Free For Everyone!!!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/2598358107074078/ Hey All, We have just created a Group to help bring everyone together who is missing out on the Fun & the Funds at this Year's Antique Shows due to the Shut Down and the Covid-19 Virus. We are hoping that this group can help Antique Dealers, Pickers and Flea Market Go'ers come together. Please Share this group to everyone you know that is missing out on the Shows How it works: May 12th-18th at 10am You Can Post Your Digital Booth with 4 Photos and A Virtual Tour (Video) to the Brimfield Online Group Page. If you own an Antique Shop and are Shut Down please Post a Video of Your Shop With 4 Photos. People can browse your Booths & Shops all Week and Leave Comments or Send You Private messages to complete the sale. Paypal should be used for Payment and Shipping Arrangements can be made Every Night We Will Do a Facebook Live!- Featuring a 1 Hour Spot Light with a Brimfield Veteran! Filled with Live Sales, Auctions, Appraisals & Storys from the Past with the Good Ol Boys & So Much More Spots are Filling Up Quick So Please Contact @Michael Lord for Your Free Spotlight! Share your Stories- of getting stuck in the mud, the blisters on your feet, that one Item that got away & you still dream of, knocking over the tent drunk, having the squirts in the port a john, finding that holy grail piece….We Want to see your virtual unboxing videos of your new finds & old finds, restoration videos, how to spot a fake and unboxing’s of lost treasures Backpackers looking to sell a few Items without a digital booth are more than welcome to Join in the Festivities but please keep your listings to under 5 Items. This is Going to be Fun! So Get Down and Dirty From the Comfort of Your Own Home!!!!! Happy Hunting!!!!
Will the Monet exhibit still be happening? If so when do you project the timeframe to be? My hotel in Boston for mid-May has canceled us. Please give an update so I can rebook my flight and hotel to see this event . Thank you!
Digiplasticism and the Beauty of Clicking Lectio Divina
The art of social distancing. You will notice that The Thinker and The Scream are not touching their faces.
I love the idea of repurposing, repairing, reimagining art objects that have broken. BRAVA your idea
"Oh Salome, Salome, dancer of the seven veils, what would you wish of me for love that will not fail?" "Oh king Herod, if you wish me by your side, for a love that will not shatter, I request John the Baptists head upon a platter." -nikki Painting by Bernadino Luini 16th century Museum of Arts, Boston
Damn, I miss you.
I was there in Boston, Mass. in March 5th-6th&7th. I visited the MFA. Boston and saw the wonderful art of ROBERT PRUITT among a host of many other international artist who I had never heard of previously. Well worth a visit after December, due to closure in the interests of protecting their staff and patrons against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just a Butterfly. By Shrikrishna Bhalerao.1954.
Do you enjoy looking at people? This may be a project for you 🙂:
If you want help or can offer help to those in need (Grocery shopping, running errands, or anything else) in Massachusetts, please post on the FB group: Help the Elderly and Vulnerable thru the Coronavirus in Massachusetts. https://www.facebook.com/groups/525899461668205/ Thank you. Please share the group if you can (even if you cannot join)