Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the country

Noble Horvath

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the country Before the shutdown, the Museum of Fine Arts turned 150 years old. If you think you know the MFA inside and out, we’ll show the museum beyond the mummies and masterpieces. Updated: 6:07 PM EDT Sep 25, […]

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the country

Before the shutdown, the Museum of Fine Arts turned 150 years old. If you think you know the MFA inside and out, we’ll show the museum beyond the mummies and masterpieces.


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INVITATION TO ITS ANNIVERSARY PARTY. ANTHONY: WITH THE SPIRIT OF A PEP RALLY, SCHOOL COLORS AND ALL, MFA VOLUNTEERS POSED TRAY CLASS PHOTO ON THIS LANDMARK DAY. >> HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MFA! ANTHONY: HAPPY 150TH BIRTHDAY. WHAT’S A BIRTHDAY WITHOUT PRESENCE? >> THERE ARE 15 TIMES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR THAT YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR A MEMORY SHIP, SO WE KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE COME TO THE MUSEUM. IT IS A YEAR FOR YOU TO TRY OUT. ANTHONY: BOSTON’S MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS IS ONE OF THE LARGEST ART MUSEUMS IN THE COUNTRY, HAILED FOR ITS DISTINGUISHED COLLECTIONS. THE FOUNDING MISSION, 150 YEARS AGO, WAS TO OPEN ITS DOORS TO ALL THE WORLD, A MISSION THAT REMAINS TODAY. FROM THE GRAND HUNTINGTON FACADE TO THE FENWAY ENTRANCE, LONG SHUTTERED UNTIL A DECADE AGO, THE FM — THE MFA BOOK COMES 100 MILLION VISITORS A YEAR, 100 40 CALORIES SHOWCASE 500,000 WORKS OF ART, SPANNING CENTURIES AND CULTURES. IT HAS THE FEEL OF A SMALL CITY, WITH PLACES TO DINE, SHOP, LEARN, OR JUST HANG OUT. THERE ARE 770 EMPLOYEES AND 1250 VOLUNTEERS. INCLUDING RILEY, THE PET — THE PEST SNIFFING CANINE. AMONG THE MUMMIES, MASTERS, AND MODERN WORKS OF ARTS, ARE THOUSANDS OF STORIES WAITING TO BE TOLD. STORIES ARE WHAT THE MFA IS ALL ABOUT, SAYS MUSEUM DIRECTOR MATTHEW TEITELBAUM. MATTHEW: IT WAS ONE OF OUR FOUNDING — THAT — OUR COLLECTION IS REALLY A TESTAMENT TO THE COMMITMENT OF THIS COMMUNITY TO CREATE A GREAT MUSEUM THAT CAN TELL THOSE STORIES, AND BY ANY RANKING, IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT, GREAT MUSEUMS IN NORTH AMERICA. ANTHONY: THE CHALLENGE TODAY, HOW TO THRIVE IN THIS FAST-PACED SOCIAL MEDIA AGE. MATTHEW: I BELIEVE THAT ONLINE EXPERIENCES ARE AUTHENTIC. GREAT ART IS PRODUCED FOR AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA. I BELIEVE THAT. SO THE QUESTION IS, WHAT DID YOU DO IN A MUSEUM? YOU HAVE TO CREATE A SENSE THAT YOU ARE IN A SPACE TOGETHER, THAT YOU ARE SHARING SOMETHING TOGETHER. ANTHONY: YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO TRY SOMETHING NEW. IN A FIRST, THE MFA HIRED TEEN INTERNS TO CURE A SHOW. BLACK HISTORY’S BLACK FUTURES OPENED ON MLK DAY. >> THE EXHIBITION HAD ALWAYS BEEN PLANNED. THERE WAS SOME INTENTIONALITY TO THINK ABOUT HOW WE BRING OUT A LOT OF OUR BLACK ARTISTS FROM THE COLLECTION AND GET THEM ON DISPLAY IN A PROMINENT WAY. THAT WAS FIRST. ANTHONY: THE MUSEUM PARTNERED WITH LOCAL YOUTH GROUPS TO RECRUIT SIX HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. JADEN SMITH AND JENNIFER ROSA AMONG THEM. THEIR JOBS, CHOOSE THE ARTWORK AND WRITE THE WALL TEXTS. >> IF WE DID NOT TELL YOU THAT TEENAGERS HAD EXECUTED THIS EXHIBITION, YOU WOULD NOT KNOW. ANTHONY: RECENTLY THE MUSEUM FOUND ITSELF A TARGET OF CRITICISM, BY SOME MADE TO FEEL UNWELCOME. >> I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO EXPLOIT THE IDEA THAT SOMEBODY WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN THIS WORLD — MYSELF INCLUDED — CAN WALK INTO THIS MUSEUM AND FIND A HOME HERE. >> WE HAD TO LEARN HOW TO INTERPRET ART, LOOK AT ART TO FIND THE UNDERLYING MESSAGES, PICKING OUT OUR THEMES AND WHAT MEANS THE MOST TO US. >> I CAME UP WITH THE THEME “SMILE IN THE DARK,” WHICH SHOWS PEOPLE LIVING UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES. IT WAS DURING A TIME WHERE IT WAS HARD TO EVEN SMILE STOP ALL THE ARTISTS IN THESE COLLECTIONS ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN OR LATIN OR PART OF THE BLACK DIASPORA. MOST OF THESE WORKS WERE ALREADY IN THE MUSEUM’S COLLECTION, OR WE BORROW THEM FROM THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSEUM. >> YOU COULD SAY THIS WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. THIS WAS MADE BY ARCHIBALD MOTLEY IN THE 1900S WHEN HE WAS TRANSFERRING FROM PORTRAIT DRAWINGS TO DRAWINGS OF BIG GROUPS OF PEOPLE. IT SPOKE TO ME. THE NAME OF MY EXHIBITION IS UBUNTU, I AM BECAUSE YOU ARE. THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS THOSE PERFORMING WENT THROUGH. >> THIS WAS FEATURED ON TIME MAGAZINE. THE ARTIST, RICHARD YARDE, 40’S LATER, PAINTED IT ON WATERCOLOR. WITH THE NEW BACKGROUND. THE MAGAZINE WAS ONLY IN BLACK AND WHITE. A LOT OF KIDS MY AGE DON’T HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE. >> I SEE MFA NOW AS A SECOND HOME, NOT SOMETHING THAT I AM AFRAID TO WALK THROUGH, BUT I AM A PART OF THE ART WILL NOW. ANTHONY: THE BLACK HISTORY’S BLACK FUTURES EXHIBITION WILL REOPEN WHEN THE MUSEUM DOES TOMORROW. LIKE MANY CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER NONPROFITS, THE FM — THE MFA EXPERIENCED FINANCIAL HARDSHIP AS A RESULT OF ITS SIX-MONTH CLOSURE. IN AUGUST IT ANNOUNCED A RESTRUCTURING AND STAFF REDUCTIONS. IT IS MOVING FORWARD WITH SEVERAL MAJOR EXHIBITIONS IN THE PLANNING STAGES BEFORE THE SHUTDOWN. UP

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest in the country

Before the shutdown, the Museum of Fine Arts turned 150 years old. If you think you know the MFA inside and out, we’ll show the museum beyond the mummies and masterpieces.


The Museum of Fine Arts welcomes more than 1 million visitors a year. 140 galleries showcase 500,000 works of art spanning centuries and cultures. It has the feel of a small city with places to dine, shop, learn or just hang out. Happy 150th birthday, MFA! And what’s a birthday without presents?You’re never too old to try something new. In a first, the MFA hired teen interns to curate a show. Black Histories, Black Futures opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Museum of Fine Arts welcomes more than 1 million visitors a year. 140 galleries showcase 500,000 works of art spanning centuries and cultures. It has the feel of a small city with places to dine, shop, learn or just hang out.

Happy 150th birthday, MFA! And what’s a birthday without presents?

You’re never too old to try something new. In a first, the MFA hired teen interns to curate a show. Black Histories, Black Futures opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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