The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts is one of the largest museums in the United States and a popular Boston attraction.
It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the largest art collections in America. Art objects from Egypt, Rome, Greece, Africa, Oceania, America and Impressionist paintings from France are represented here. You will also find works on paper, sculptures, jewellery, musical instruments and contemporary artworks from around the world.
The museum was founded in Boston in 1870. In 1909 the Museum of Fine Arts moved to its current location.
A partner museum is located in Nagoya, Japan, which also bears the name Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
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History of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1870 and opened on July 4, 1876 to commemorate America’s centenary. In the beginning, most of the exhibits consisted of the Boston Athenæum Art Gallery, the oldest independent library in the United States.
In 1907 plans were laid to build a new home for the museum on Huntington Avenue, Boston’s ” Avenue of the Arts “. Funding came from donations from the Boston population. In 1909 the first section was completed. At the end of 1909 the Fine Arts Museum moved in. Numerous additions have expanded the building over the years.
In 1916, the painter John Singer Sargent was commissioned to paint the museum’s rotunda. Between 1921 and 1925 a total work of art consisting of painting, sculpture and architectural ornaments was created here.
The art school ( School of the Museum of Fine Arts ) was able to move into the new extension in 1927, with a large lecture hall, a library, classrooms, studios and exhibition rooms.
The Decorative Arts Wing opened in 1928 (was expanded again in 1968). The West Wing opened in 1981 and was renamed the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art in 2008. This wing now houses the museum café, restaurant and souvenir shop.
In the mid-2000s, the museum embarked on another major renovation and expansion of your museum. The work included a new Americas wing showcasing art from North, South and Central America, as well as the redesign and expansion of educational facilities. In addition, the European and Classic galleries have been renovated. The America Wing opened November 20, 2010.
Collection and exhibitions of the Museum of Fine Arts
In the Museum Fine Arts you will find works of art from all over the world. In addition, the museum maintains the largest online art catalog in the world, with information on more than 346,000 items from its collection. We have put together a few of the exhibitions for you here:
Art from Africa, Asia and Oceania
The Africa Collection shows masks, sculptures, everyday objects and jewelery mainly from West and Central Africa. The wood carvings from the Congo and Nigeria are particularly worth seeing. The Oceanian Art Collection includes works of art from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries. The Art from Southeast Asia section shows art objects from the first millennium BC to the 19th century. The impressive sculptures from Java and Vietnamese ceramics deserve special mention here. Korea’s art showcases jewelry and ceramics from the Three Kingdoms period. The art of Japan features medieval scrolls, masks, samurai swords, screens, textiles, woodcuts and prints, and paintings from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
The collection of Chinese art is particularly extensive with Chinese ceramics, bronzes, paintings, calligraphy, textiles, stone sculptures as well as lacquer and jade works.
Furthermore, the museum has the most extensive collections in the USA with Indian art and art from Nepal, Tibet and Mongolia.
More than 83,000 works of art spanning 7,000 years of cultural history from Egypt, Nubia, the Middle East, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Anatolia are on display here. In addition to sculpture, jewellery, coffins, mummies, weapons, architecture, vases, carved gems, musical instruments and mosaics, the collection also includes over 8,000 ancient coins.
You will also find numerous excavation finds from Mesopotamia and Persia. 45,000 objects of Egyptian art such as sculptures, sarcophagi, architectural fragments as well as papyri and small art objects.
Numerous ceramics, gold jewelry, bronze mirrors, colored terracotta tiles and marble sculptures from Greek art and Roman art complete the whole.
24,000 objects of decorative art and sculptures, as well as more than 1,600 paintings from the Renaissance to the present await the visitor of the Museum of Fine Arts. Exhibits include English silverwork, European porcelain, 18th century French decorative arts and of course many works by famous European artists. The museum has the largest collection of works by Claude Monet outside of France.
The Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston opens November 20, 2010. The most extensive exhibition of American art and culture awaits the visitor. Furniture, paintings and silver work are in so-called period rooms, which are furnished according to the respective American era. Crafts from Tiffany’s workshop will be on display. Other exhibits are by artists such as John Singleton Copley, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt and Winslow Home.
Prints, Drawings and Photography
An extensive graphic collection consisting of paper prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs, illustrated books and posters of American and European origin can be found here. These include works by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Paul GauguinWinslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, Edward Hopper, Alfred Stieglitz, Josef Sudek, and Yousuf Karsh Herb Ritts.
Attractions of this department is the extensive collection of Chinese painting, calligraphy and imperial Chinese art, including some of the most coveted paintings in Chinese history.
Many artists from the late 20th century are represented in this area of the museum, such as: Chuck Close, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman, Georg Baselitz, Francesco Clemente, Sigmar Polke, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol, Jonathan Borofsky, Mona Hatoum, George Segal, Rineke Dijkstra, Robert Mapplethorpe, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth.
Media consists of painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper, installation, decorative arts, crafts, design, film and videos. In total, the collection includes more than 1500 works from all over the world.
See musical instruments from around the world, from ancient to modern times. The museum houses more than 1100 instruments, including many European and American examples, as well as numerous pieces from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North and South America.
In addition to the instrument collection, lectures, demonstrations, concerts, publications, and recorded audio samples can be visited here.
Textiles and Fashion
The MFA Textiles collection began when Boston was the center of the US textile industry. Today the museum has over 27,000 objects consisting of African textiles, Middle Eastern carpets, European and American fashions, African shawls, Persian silk work, textile work from Japan and Indonesian batik work.
Opening hours & admission prices of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is open Saturday through Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday it is open from 10am to 9.45pm.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is open seven days a week. It is only closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Patriots’ Day, and Independence Day.
Admission is (as of 2014) $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students. Children under the age of six always have free entry.
Address of attraction Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115