Despite the title of my blog being “My Boston Day”, this post actually spans over two days and still won’t cover everything to know about Boston’s fantastic Museum of Fine Arts.
Located in the Back Bay near the Fens and Northeastern University, the Museum of Fine Arts is the fifth largest museum in the U.S. In other words, it’s huge. Not Louvre huge, but still big enough that it’s really difficult to see everything in just a single visit. I opted to purchase a membership which entitles me to visit as frequently as I want over the next year.
My first day was also my first solo visit to a museum. I highly recommend it! Instead of worrying about moving too quickly to too slowly past exhibits, or whether my companion was getting bored, I was able to really take in the art the interested me, at my pace.
In my first four hour visit, I spent the majority of my time in the Art of the Americas wing, but also visited two special exhibits: Winnie the Pooh, and Casanova’s Europe. Winnie the Pooh, while well put together, was less interesting to me than Casanova’s Europe, which featured art, clothing, furniture from the period and countries through which Casanova traveled. Plus, the stories told of him through the exhibit were entertaining. I’m not sure I realized that Casanova was a real person before seeing this exhibit!
The Art of the Americas was the real highlight of the day. I’ve been reading about the history of Boston, and the artwork of John Singleton Copley brought to life the important figures I’ve read about, from Paul Revere to Samuel Adams. While his detailed artwork is wonderful to look at, I was blown away by the Jonathan Singer Sargent paintings, specifically “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”. If you visit the museum, you’ll easily find it. The painting is huge and prominently displayed between the same two tall vases that are featured in the painting. There is something beautiful yet haunting about it, and it’s the one painting that compelled me to sit and stare for a while. Go see it. You’ll get what I mean.
My second visit was much like the first. I chose to visit the Art of Europe section of the museum and took my time reading and learning about the artists on display and the time periods they were from. I typically prefer oil paintings to other mediums due to how precise and detailed the images appear, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the French Pastels exhibit, specifically the works of Degas. Again, the benefit of a solo trip to the museum where I could take my time and contemplate.
There is still so much to see, but I’m enjoying my slow progression through the museum. There is something here for everyone, art lovers and newbies alike. So, whether you’re just in town for a few days or a local, I encourage you to spend a day or more enjoying the collection the museum has put together.