The MFA lends many objects to a large number of museums worldwide each year. It welcomes requests from museums and qualified borrowers to borrow works for exhibition purposes.

Submitting a Request

Please submit a formal request letter to the attention of the Director at the earliest opportunity.

Matthew Teitelbaum
Ann and Graham Gund Director
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The request should include:

  • Exhibition title, dates, and venue(s)
  • Exhibition synopsis
  • Tombstone information for the requested object(s), with accession number (see the Museum’s online collection database)
  • Relevance of requested object(s) to the exhibition
  • Contact information for the borrower’s curator and registrar

Borrowers should ideally allow at least one year for the request to be processed (six months is the minimum). Requests made within six months of the exhibition’s opening date may not be accommodated as this does not allow sufficient time for the request to be fully considered and reviewed by two loan committees; for objects to be taken off display or retrieved from storage; for objects to receive any necessary conservation and mounting preparations; and for the borrower facility’s security and environmental conditions to be checked.

For more information, please contact Janet Moore, Registrar for Loans from the Collections, at jmoore@mfa.org.

Timeline and Process

On receiving the request, the MFA will do the following:

  • Send a letter of acknowledgment.
  • Schedule the request to be discussed by curators and conservators at the next internal bi-monthly Loan Review Committee meeting.
  • After this meeting, send notification of whether the object(s) is available and can travel.
  • Request a completed Standard General Facility Report. Please note that the loan is contingent on this being reviewed successfully.
  • Provide the date of the next Collections Committee meeting at which the request will be submitted for final Board approval.

Loan Costs

  • Loan fees of $250 for first object and $100 for each subsequent object; please note that if the request is received less than 6 months from the opening date, and MFA is able to accommodate, the loan fees will be $500 for the first object and $200 for each subsequent object.
  • Conservation treatments for each object, as needed
  • Framing, glazing, and mounts, as needed
  • Insurance
  • Crating and packing
  • Fine Art shipping (direct, unless otherwise agreed)
  • Courier costs
  • Photography, if needed

Please note that if the object requires a display case, it will need to be made to specific conservation standards, and all materials will need to pass an Oddy Test.