Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston welcomes over one million visitors each year. Today, the museum boasts a collection of nearly 500,000 pieces of art ranging from Ancient Egyptian to contemporary work. The museum’s vast collections include Art of the Americas, Art of Europe, Art of Asia, Art of Africa/Oceania, Art of the Ancient World, Contemporary Art, Photography, Prints/Drawings, Musical Instruments, David & Roberta Logie Department of Textile & Fashion Arts, and Jewelry. The Museum of Fine Arts also offers several programs for the public, such as lectures, courses, studio art classes, film, music, and performance arts, as well as programs geared specifically towards kids, family, teens, schools, and the community.
Backstory and Context
The original Museum of Fine Arts opened on July 4, 1876 in Copley Square with 5,600 pieces of art. The museum continued to grow its collection and finally moved to its current location in 1909. Over the last century, the building has undergone several more significant developments. In 2012, the Art of the Americas wing opened. The new wing houses four levels of American art. A year later, in 2013, the European Art Gallery, Asian Art Gallery, and African Art Gallery were all expanded and improved.
The museum’s diverse collections of art reflect the American melting pot. A nation of immigrants, the United States is a nation of so many great paintings, sculptures, and more. One of the most distinguishable pieces in their American collection is Paul Revere’s silver Sons of Liberty Bowl. Paul Revere is remembered as a central figure in colonial history as the man who rode in to warn the Patriots that the British were coming! The American collection also features many pieces of furniture from the early colonial era as well as kitchenware (i.e. bowls and plates, many engraved and/or intricately painted). There is also a gallery devoted specifically to African-American artists which includes beautiful paintings and stunning jewelry.
There are collections of both new (contemporary) and ancient art. The Art of the Ancient World collection has some amazing pieces, including a bowl from the Ancient Greek’s Classical Period (about 430-420 B.C.). The ceramic bowl depicts athletes practicing javelin, boxing, long jump, and the discus throw, along with their two trainers and a musician.
The Museum of Fine Arts offers more than a walk through its vast galleries of amazing artwork. At times, visitors can become immersed in the performance arts, as different artists show off their innovations in the galleries and lobbies. The museum also features a wide curriculum of programs, lectures, and courses for both adults and children.
There are thousands of pieces within the walls of the museum. However, the building itself is another work of art – an architectural masterpiece. Several years ago, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awarded the museum the 2011 RIBA International Award for Architectural Excellence. The MFA was one of thirteen buildings that year to receive the prestigious honor.
There is an enormous amount of information, including pictures and videos, showcasing the exhibits at the museum on their website (www.mfa.org).
Architectural History. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Accessed March 29, 2017. http://www.mfa.org/about/architectural-history.
Klein, Julia M.. The Melting Pot of the Americas, Illustrated. The New York Times. March 15, 2010. Accessed March 30, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/arts/artsspecial/18BOSTON.html.
American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Highlights. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed April 03, 2017. http://www.mfa.org/node/9475.
Art of the Ancient World - Collection Highlights. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed April 03, 2017. http://www.mfa.org/node/399871#1.
African American Artists. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Accessed April 03, 2017. http://www.mfa.org/node/9317.