Perhaps no painter has been more identified with the MFA than John Singer Sargent. The Museum has collected, commissioned, and exhibited more of the artist’s major works than any other institution, and though he was born and lived so many years abroad, Sargent always considered Boston his American home.
In a wonderful new chapter, the MFA is the recent recipient of the Sargent Archives—a treasure trove of Sargentiana—correspondence, sketches, and photos that give insight to the man and his methods.
Don’t miss the exhibition “Yours Sincerely, John S. Sargent,” opening July 25. This lively sample from the archive gives us such gems as the artist’s letters to Monet, a note from “Madame X,” and other glimpses into the artist’s world. And it hints at the wealth of material available to scholars, now and in the future, for all things Sargent here at the MFA.
Sargent’s last great achievement—the murals in the Rotunda and surrounding stairs—welcomes visitors at the Huntington Entrance, and his poignant masterpiece The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit serves as the heart of the Art of the Americas Wing—and, in many ways, of the Museum itself. Of the highlights in my time at the MFA, renewing the magnificent murals in 1999, providing a suitable setting for the Boits and our other American treasures in 2010, and now, a “home” for the peripatetic Sargent here in Boston, have all been pinnacles.
Also born abroad, but with close ties to Boston, Canadian Matthew Teitelbaum arrives from the Art Gallery of Ontario to assume the position of Ann and Graham Gund Director in August. I know you will welcome him warmly and encourage him to make the MFA his new home—as you have done for me.
Thank you once again for the privilege and opportunity to serve you and the MFA.
Ann and Graham Gund Director