Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
September 27, 2012
From journal Long weekend in Boston
January 11, 2008
From journal Boston, you Are the Only, Only, Only
February 12, 2007
From journal Beautiful Boston
September 17, 2006
I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of Impressionist or post-Impressionist painting from Europe in the late 1800s. My mom is a huge fan and a museum member though, so we ended up going to this exhibit upon her last visit to Boston. I was pleasantly surprised by this collection-the masterworks are beautifully displayed within three categories-outdoor spaces, portraits, and paintings which the artists painted once they got back to the United States after obtaining their Paris influences.
Most paintings in this collection were featured in the prestigious "salon" in Paris when they were first publicly debuted. Paintings from the "salon" were thought to be masterpieces in their own right and were snatched up by collectors for lots of money. A far cry from the typical "starving artist", Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent actually lived the life of typical upper-class Parisians; though they were both American by birth.
My absolute favorite painting in this collection is "Madame X" by Sargent. It is amazing what a controversy this painting caused when it first debuted 100 years ago (since it's subject was an American who was thought to have beaten the Parisian women at their own game). There she stands, haughty, beautiful and larger than life. It really is quite a lovely painting to see in person-pictures do not begin to capture Madame's attitude in its entirety.
Also on display are several other very famous works by the artists- "Whistler's Mother" (the woman wearing black in a chair facing left), "Woman in a Pearl Necklace", by Mary Cassatt, and Sargent's interpretation of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. All of these paintings exhibit lovely impressionism and post-impressionism styles and are excellent pieces to examine in detail. Brushstrokes and little things that go unnoticed in prints seem to stand out in the MFA's gallery setting.
Tickets to the exhibition should be purchased ahead of time (either online or by phoning the ticket counter at the MFA). The exhibit typically sells out on busier days and weekends. When you purchase tickets, they give you a specific viewing time to ensure that traffic through the gallery is not too much at any one hour. Tickets are about $23 a person and include general museum admission. An audio tour is also available for $5 a person and is highly recommended.
If you enjoy these kinds of exhibitions at the MFA, you may want to consider becoming a member. Each family membership comes with exhibition tickets for one event during the year. It turns out to be an excellent value, and then you can save on even more museum cost items like the dining and parking.
From journal Special Events in Massachusetts
August 22, 2003
From journal Local Insight in Boston
May 19, 2003
The MFA wasn't designed by Richard Morris Hunt, as was the Met, but it has a similarly imposing style (albeit with none of the Met's more baroque decorative flourishes). The MFA's collection, too, has many of the same strengths as the Met's--Classical and Egyptian art and American decorative arts and painting.
Once you enter the building, however, you begin to see where the Met and the MFA differ. Unlike the Met's gigantic entry hall, the MFA's is built on a more modest, human scale. And the MFA has one thing that the Met doesn't--a glorious mural by Boston artist John Singer Sargent. Unfortunately, you can't see most of it at the moment--it's undergoing a full restoration--but when the work is complete,
Sargent's masterpiece will shine forth with it's original glory.
Some of the highlights of the MFA's collection include Houdon's bust of Thomas Jefferson, a fine collection of works by Washington Allson, an early American artist (Boston's Allston neighborhood was the home of his studio and still bears his name), John Singelton Copley's famous portrait of Paul Revere, and one of Gilbert Stuart's portraits of George Washington. The MFA also exhibits works by Goya, El Greco, Velasquez, Manet, and Matisse, among others.
My favorite part of the Museum, though, are the period rooms--especially those taken from Oak Hill, the country estate of shipping heiress Elisabeth Derby West and her husband Nathaniel. The rooms are spendidly furnished with the creme de la creme of American Federal furnishings--including items created by John and Thomas Seymour. To see some of the rest of Oak Hill, check out the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House museum in Salem.
If you get hungry while perusing the great artworks, head to the basement and the Norma-Jean Calderwood Courtyard Cafe. It has an awesome gourmet salad bar with tempting offerings including grilled eggplant and roasted potatoes. Load up your plate and take it to the cashier--you pay by the ounce. You can also try one of a rotating selection of hot entrees, or grab a piece of pizza. And if the weather's good, you can take your meal outside and eat in in the green and sculpture-filled Calderwood courtyard.
Admission to the MFA is $15/adult, $13 students and seniors, or $6.50 for children. An admission ticket is good for 2 visits in 30 days, so hold on to it and go back to really get your money's worth.
From journal Boston: On the Tourist Trail and Off the Beaten Path
San Jose, California
October 3, 2002
Perhaps the best way to see museum for the first time is with the "one hour tour" which brings you to the best of the best. The tour covers India, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas with dates ranging from 2548 BC to 1883. Artists include Paul Revere, Renoir, Rembrant, and Donatello. This tasting will give you enough of a feel for what's available to plan your own explorations.
A great time to visit is on Wednesday evenings when the museum is open from 4 to 9:45 pm. No fee is charged, but a donation is requested. With smaller crowds, this is a great date spot.
From journal Something for Everyone
Bayside, New York
August 17, 2001
Permanent exhibitions include Picasso, Durer, Jim Dine (spanning quite an era). There is also an extensive exhibit on Egyptian art and life in pharaonic times; African tribal art including some interesting wooden sculptures, and Greek sculpture from the classical era. There is also a area which recreates an 1800's New England House, rooms and all.
The Gift shop is a treasure trove, and a bit pricey. They do have other venues in Boston. If I recall correctly, the first Friday of every month brings with it concerts,cocktails and appetizing tid bits. Admission is $12. Kids under 18 are free.
When there is a travelling exhibit, you need to call ahead for tickets, and the price is around $15 during the week and a bit higher on the weekend.
From journal Boston Beckons
Fort Worth, Texas
March 27, 2001
The museum has many different features, lots of pieces from ancient civilizations (Ancient Roman and Greek times). The part of the museum that is my favorite is the section containing the old musical instruments. Also they have a fashion section with old dresses. I also like the sections of old furniture and those that are set up into old style bedrooms, similar to that of Versailles Palace in France. Looking at exhibits can be fun. For some, however, the museum may get old quickly. It's a little pricey, too, so splurge for the exhibit as it will make it all more worth while.
From journal BOSTON - THE CITY ON THE OCEAN
July 25, 2000
From journal The Art of Boston