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Michael Buhler-Rose, "The Chess Match," Alachua, FL, 2009.
SMFA Traveling Scholars April 10, 2010 - May 31, 2010

This year’s “SMFA Traveling Scholars” exhibition features works by five Museum School alumni who each received the prestigious Traveling Scholarship Award in 2008. The artists traveled locally and internationally and produced a new body of work on view in the exhibition. Fresh and...

Actors Kawarazaki Gonjûrô (R), Ichimura Uzaemon (C), and Nakamura Shikan (L)
Under the Skin: Tattoos in Japanese Prints April 3, 2010 - January 2, 2011

Tattooing became an important feature of Japanese urban popular culture in the early 19th century, influenced strongly by the success of a series of woodblock prints featuring Chinese martial arts heroes with spectacular tattoos, vividly imagined by the artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Tattoo artists...

Luis Meléndez, "Still Life with Melon and Pears" (detail), 1770
Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life February 2, 2010 - May 9, 2010

Luis Meléndez (1716–1780) was the greatest still life painter of 18th-century Spain. An accomplished painter of miniatures, he began creating still lifes as early as 1759. In 1771 he was awarded a commission from the Prince of Asturias (later Charles IV), an avid amateur of the new...

Charles Sheeler, "Six West African Figures," 1917-1919
Object, Image, Collector: African and Oceanic Art in Focus December 12, 2009 - July 18, 2010

By juxtaposing pieces from Africa and Oceania selected from private collections with photographs, “Object, Image, Collector” explores the complex intertwining of the histories of these objects, photography, and collecting. Objects from the African continent and the Pacific came to...

Albrecht Durer, "The Four Horsemen (Apocalypse)," probably 1497-98
Albrecht Dürer: Virtuoso Printmaker November 21, 2009 - July 5, 2010

Albrecht Dürer was the pivotal figure of Late Gothic and High Renaissance German art. He remains, after 500 years—like Rembrandt, Goya, and Picasso—one of the supreme masters of printmaking. His engravings and woodcuts are a dazzling combination of observation, imagination, and...

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, "In the Street"
Café and Cabaret: Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris November 21, 2009 - August 8, 2010

The French aristocrat Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), one of the most innovative artists of the late nineteenth century, is known for his bold and subtle images of performers in the centers of Parisian entertainment in the 1880s and 1890s: the café-concerts and cabaret nightclubs in...

Harry Callahan, "Eleanor," 1948
Harry Callahan: American Photographer November 21, 2009 - July 5, 2010

Harry Callahan was one of the most innovative photographers working in America in the mid-twentieth century. Images of his wife, Eleanor; passers-by on the street; cityscapes; landscapes; close-ups from nature; multiple exposures; and darkroom abstractions reveal the elegantly spare formalism and...

Mandala of the Deer of Kasuga Shrine
The Way of the Gods: Shinto Shrines and Their Art November 21, 2009 - August 1, 2010

Shinto is not an organized religion or even a unified system of beliefs. Instead, the Japanese use the word to describe a whole group of religious ideas and practices focused on the forces of nature and ancestors, both mythological and real. Originally, Shinto did not use images. The various...

Maqbool Fida Husain, 'Ganesh Darwaza,' 1964
Bharat Ratna!: Jewels of Modern Indian Art November 14, 2009 - June 6, 2010

“Bharat Ratna,” which translates literally to the “Jewel of India,” presents a selection of outstanding works by some of India’s most celebrated modern painters. Drawn from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Rajiv Jahangir Chaudhri, the exhibition focuses on a generation...

Portrait of Life: Children's Lives in Art
Portrait of Life: Children’s Lives in Art November 7, 2009 - January 18, 2010

Nagoya and Boston Exchange Artwork This exhibition marks the sixth annual exchange between young people in Nagoya, Japan, and Boston. This unique project links young audiences and celebrates the international partnership between the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts,...

Front side panel of outer coffin of Djehutynakht (detail) Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 2040–1926 B.C.
The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC October 18, 2009 - June 27, 2010

In a 1915 excavation, archaeologists from the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition discovered the entrance to a tomb at the picturesque site of Deir el-Bersha in Egypt. Inside, the MFA team found, in jumbled array, the largest burial assemblage of the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640...

Elephant with mounts, Japanese, Edo period (around 1680)
Luxuries from Japan: Cultural Exchange in the 17th and 18th Centuries September 30, 2009 - January 17, 2011

More than 400 years ago, Japan forged strong trading partnerships with China and the West, and Japan’s lacquer and porcelains were among the most sought-after luxuries in the world. Although Japan largely closed itself to the West around 1640 to preserve domestic stability, Chinese and Dutch...

Noh costume (karaori), Japanese, Edo period, 19th century
Patterns of Long Ago: Reflections of China in Japanese No Costume September 30, 2009 - May 31, 2010

Just as the stories of many No plays—peopled with historic and legendary figures, gods, spirits, and ghosts—are drawn from the classical literature of the Heian (794–1185) or Kamakura (1185–1336) periods, the robes worn by the actors recall court costumes of the Nara (710...

"Mahakala as Panjaranatha," Tibetan, 16th century
Tibet/China Confluences August 26, 2009 - May 23, 2010

The Carpenter gallery is usually home to Chinese paintings, of which the Museum of Fine Arts holds one of the world’s great collections. The current exhibition is a departure. It does feature some Chinese paintings, but it also includes works from Tibet. Since the fourteenth century, Chinese...

Conley Harris, 'High-spirited Horseman,' 2009
Glorious Beasts in Persian Painting August 22, 2009 - April 11, 2010

Using selections from the Museum’s collection of Persian paintings for inspiration, Conley Harris, an artist and collector of Indian and Persian art, has created six interpretative works depicting a continuing theme in Persian paintings: animals and landscape. Displayed beside the Museum...

Artist Kitagawa Utamaro I, Publisher Tsutaya Jûzaburô (Kôshodô), 'Parody of the Six Poetic Immortals'
Echoes of Heian Kyo: Court Culture in the Floating World July 25, 2009 - March 7, 2010

Look back to the glorious past of the ancient Japanese imperial capital of Kyoto, originally called Heian-kyō, as it was envisioned by artists of the ukiyo-e school working many centuries later in the city of Edo (modern Tokyo). The exquisitely refined court culture of the Heian period (794-1185...

Greene and Greene, "Adelaide A. Tichenor house," about 1905
A New and Native Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene July 14, 2009 - October 18, 2009

In 1915, architect Charles Greene (1868-1957) wrote, "I seek till I find what is truly useful, and then I try to make it beautiful." The architecture and decorative arts designed by Charles and his brother Henry Greene (1870-1954) a century ago are now recognized internationally as among...

Candice Breitz, detail from "Queen (A Portrait of Madonna)," 2005
Contemporary Outlook: Seeing Songs July 1, 2009 - February 21, 2010

Technology has rendered music more accessible and pervasive than ever before. MP3 players are omnipresent; every cell phone can make a statement about the owner's musical taste. Music is everywhere, and in the process has become both more public and more private. We all travel through life with...

Alberto Bertran, "Vida y Drama de Mexico," 1957
Vida y Drama: Modern Mexican Prints May 30, 2009 - November 2, 2009

Alberto Beltran's large drawing titled "Vida y drama de Mexico," made in 1957 as a preparatory design for a poster, sums up the spirit of this exhibition, which shows that twentieth-century Mexican printmakers recorded contemporary life and all its complexity in a distinctly modern...

Edward Weston, "Tina on the Azotea, with kimono," 1924
Viva Mexico!: Edward Weston and His Contemporaries May 30, 2009 - November 2, 2009

In the decades following the Constitution of 1917, Mexico became a powerful magnet for foreign artists and intellectuals drawn to its ideal climate, dramatic landscapes, and inexpensive cost of living. Photographer Edward Weston's early biographer, Nancy Newhall, described Mexico as his...

Community Arts Initiative Artist Project - Paper Telephone
Paper Telephone: The Artist Project for the Community Arts Initiative May 15, 2009 - July 12, 2009

Boston's individual communities may appear to be unrelated, but by considering the city as a whole, we can begin to understand what we share, and revel in our differences. On view in the Courtyard Gallery, "Paper Telephone" is a collaborative artist's book made by children from...

Lauren Warner, 'Daisy' (detail), 2008
SMFA Traveling Scholars March 28, 2009 - May 25, 2009

This year's "SMFA Traveling Scholars" exhibition presents work by seven recipients of the 2007 Traveling Scholarship Awards given annually by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Nicolas Brynolfson, Matthew Paul Cleary, Daniel Dueck, Daniel Johnson, Timothy A. Kadish, John...

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), "Venus with a Mirror" (detail), about 1555
Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice March 15, 2009 - August 16, 2009

In the sixteenth century, Venice was one of the largest and richest cities in Europe, and steady demand for paintings from both local and international clients fostered a climate of exceptional competition and innovation. "Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice" is...

Claude Monet, "Grand Canal, Venice," 1908
Mad on Color: Paintings of Nineteenth-Century Venice March 7, 2009 - August 2, 2009

In keeping with the MFA's Venetian theme this spring and summer, a display of European and American canvases is on view in the Upper Hemicycle in "Mad on Color: Paintings of Nineteenth-Century Venice." Works by Renoir, Monet, Whistler, and others show the influence of Venice's...

Saeki Shunkō, "Tearoom," 1936
Showa Sophistication: Japan in the 1930s February 11, 2009 - November 8, 2009

The Museum recently acquired seventeen Japanese paintings largely produced and exhibited in Tokyo in the 1930s—the early Shōwa era—an overlooked period in the history of the arts in Japan. In many cases the subject matter, as well as the size, gave these paintings a commanding...

"Garniture from a Clock and Two Vases," about 1770
Splendor and Elegance: European Decorative Arts and Drawings from the Horace Wood Brock Collection January 22, 2009 - May 17, 2009

"Splendor and Elegance: European Decorative Arts and Drawings from the Horace Wood Brock Collection" features aristocratic European furniture and decorative arts, drawings, and paintings from the mid-sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Organized chronologically, stylistically,...

Sakurai Yasuko, "Vertical Flower," 2007
Celebrating Kyoto: Modern Arts from Boston's Sister City December 10, 2008 - September 7, 2009

Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston-Kyoto Sister City relationship at this vibrant exhibition focusing on contemporary ceramics and prints created by artists in Kyoto and the surrounding Kansai region. Included are ceramics on loan from private collections, including the magnificent...

Matthew Pillsbury, "Nathan Noland, Mario Kart DS, The Star Cup, Wynn, Las Vegas, Monday July 31, 2006, 0:34 a.m.-0:52 a.m." 2006
Photographic Figures November 19, 2008 - May 10, 2009

Artists have long taken advantage of the camera’s ability to capture expressive images of the human form—from gesture or body language, to straightforward documentation, to poetic metaphor. Celebrate with us the inauguration of the Herb Ritts Gallery, our first permanently dedicated to...

Shen Zhou, "Album of eight landscapes and eight poems," 1368–1644
Gentlemen of Suzhou November 8, 2008 - July 13, 2009

In the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Suzhou was a center of beauty, thought, and culture. Many of the period's greatest minds eschewed civil service in favor of a life of refinement in China’s garden city, where they composed poems, wrote calligraphy, and produced paintings of great...

Detail of Wide Curtain; English (textile produced in India), late 17th century
“And so to Bed”: Indian Bed Curtains from a Stately English Home November 5, 2008 - June 21, 2009

Samuel Pepys, the famous British diarist who often ended his daily entries with "and so to bed," wrote in 1663, "...bought my wife a chintz, that is, a painted Indian callico, for to line her new study, which is very pretty." During the later part of the seventeenth century,...

Rachel Whiteread, "Place (Village)," 2006-08
Rachel Whiteread October 15, 2008 - January 25, 2009

Widely known for her public monuments, including Water Tower (1998) in New York (now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art) and Holocaust Memorial (1995/2000) in Vienna, Rachel Whiteread considers the scale and structure of familiar forms through the overlooked spaces essential to their...

Hakuin Ekaku, "Two Blind Men Crossing a Log Bridge," Edo period
Zen Mind/Zen Brush: Japanese Ink Paintings from the Gitter-Yelen Collection October 1, 2008 - January 4, 2009

From the thirteenth through the fifteen centuries Zen monasteries were important centers of religious and cultural learning, but as a spiritual malaise gradually set in the painting and calligraphy traditions became formulaic. Through the leadership of monks such as Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768...

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