“A painting is not a picture of an experience,” Mark Rothko once remarked; “it is an experience.” With this fall’s lineup of exhibitions, the MFA offers visitors multiple opportunities for transformative experiences, for making meaningful connections with art.

The Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art becomes a contemplative space with “Seeking Stillness,” leading visitors on a journey of introspection while exploring themes like the artistic process as a form of meditation and nature as a site for clearing the mind. Works by modern and contemporary artists are dramatically displayed alongside highlights from the Museum’s historic holdings, including the Italian Mannerist masterpiece The Dead Christ with Angels (about 1524–27) by Rosso Fiorentino, presented in a chapel-like space, and Chinese paintings and scholars’ rocks.

Two visionary artists mobilize a variety of media to create multifaceted environments: “Annette Lemieux: Mise en Scène,” a solo show of this conceptual artist’s new body of work inspired by classic cinema, and the video and sculptural installation “Joan Jonas: Ice Drawing,” a component of Jonas’s masterwork Reanimation, performed at the MFA in 2014.

With “Mark Rothko: Reflection,” an immersive display of 11 masterpieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, we’ve created a space designed for an experience both intimate and awe-inspiring. Capturing the full sweep of the artist’s career, this luminous concentration of Rothko’s iconic abstractions begins with a unique artistic association only possible at the MFA, hanging Rothko’s early self-portrait Thru the Window (1938–39) adjacent to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Artist in his Studio (about 1628)—both portraits of artists reflecting on the act of painting.

Art has the power to connect us all, no matter where we come from. As part of the Museum’s role as a civic gathering space—a place for the exchange of ideas and the intersection of cultures—the MFA has launched three new initiatives, offering free admission to all K-12 teachers across New England; students, faculty, and staff from community colleges across the Commonwealth; and newly naturalized US citizens living in Massachusetts.

We are grateful to all of our supporters and advocates for helping us achieve our goal of boldly combining art and ideas with a commitment to welcoming new and diverse audiences—inviting all to enter, experience and become part of the MFA.

Matthew Teitelbaum
Ann and Graham Gund Director