Boston 3 - Museum of Fine Arts

Andrew Stephens, Sunday the 16th of March, 2014 in Travel and Places

Spring keeps sending us free samples in the mail, but refuses to actually arrive for good This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format.. It actually snowed again on Thursday with temperatures well below zero. But today was sunny with a barmy 55°F, a perfect day be out and about.

I went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (the fine and artistically lowercase mfa), a huge multi-gallery affair on the south side of the Charles River. It is packed full of very impressive works and well worth the $25 entrance fee.

Watson and the Shark, by Copley Watson and the Shark, by Copley

As a celebration of american culture, the museum is certainly well laid out to showcase local artists. The galleries of valuable but rather ugly medieval european art and the impressive but dead Egyptian stonework give way suddenly into vibrant new world paintings and antiques, easily the equal of anything you saw on the way through and much more exciting and lively. If intentional it is a pretty nifty piece of rar-ra-ameri-ca spirit, but the gallery doesn't suffer from it and what else is an art gallery for anyway?

I wouldn't say that the mfa was more varied than the Auckland Gallery, they had heaps of neo-classical stuff, some cubist and impressionistic stuff, all the big names and very impressive but without quite the range I was expecting. On the other hand, the Auckland Gallery also contains some appalling cheese which is happily missing from the mfa. The mfa also has a lot more international art on display, which was nice to see.

The mfa had a large section on Asian, Pacific, and Oceania art. I was hoping to see something from New Zealand but no such luck - it was mostly stuff from Japan and Korean. There was also a real lack of Native American art - apparently there was a gallery downstairs that I missed but it certainly wasn't highlighted.

But there is only so much stuff you can cram in, even in such a large building. I am pretty sure I missed a few rooms at the back. I will have to make a return visit on the next rainy day.