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Frequently Asked Questions

Admission

MFA Admission

How many people does my membership admit per day?

Supporter you and your children 17 and under*
Contributor and Ambassador you, one additional adult, and your children 17 and under*
Sustainer and Leader you, up to three additional adults, and your children 17 and under*
*Any accompanying children 17 and under, exceeding a six-child limit, require free tickets available at any ticket desk.

How do I enter the Museum?

Skip the ticket lines and present your membership card(s) to the guards at either entrance. If you are visiting with a greater number of people than your membership admits (see above), visit the ticket desk for guest passes or tickets.

Do my children get in for free?

Members' children 17 and under are admitted free upon presentation of your valid membership card to the guard at either entrance. Your membership will admit up to six children; children exceeding this limit require a free ticket, available at any ticket desk.

Do I need tickets to view special exhibitions?

Tickets are not required to view any of the Museum's exhibitions. Visit them when you like, as often as you like. Remember to take advantage of Member Preview Days, when members are allowed exclusive access to view special exhibitions before they open to the general public; simply present your membership card at the gallery entrance.

How many membership cards will I receive?

If you have a Supporter membership, you will receive one card. For all other levels, membership cards are issued to up to two people per membership, and admission privileges are available to either cardholder. Please note that if there is only one name on your membership record, you will receive only one membership card regardless of level.

What are the stickers that accompanied my membership card?

Supporter and Contributor members do not receive new cards each year. Due to this, membership level and expiration date are not reflected on the card itself, but instead on stickers that you can affix to your card. Stickers do not need to be affixed for you to access your benefits. They are simply a visual reminder for your own personal reference. Each year that you renew, you will receive new stickers with your updated level and expiration date information.

Do I need to replace lost stickers?

No. Stickers are for your own personal reference, so you do not need to replace them. The barcode on your membership card is used to access your membership information and deliver your benefits. If you’d prefer to have them replaced, however, you may e-mail membership@mfa.org or call 617-369-3395.

Guest Passes

What are guest passes?

Each single-use pass admits one person—use yours to share the Museum with friends and family.

How many am I allocated per year?

Supporter one single-use guest pass, per year
Contributor two single-use guest passes, per year
Ambassador four single-use guest passes, per year
Sustainer six single-use guest passes, per year
Leader eight single-use passes, per year (mailed with your membership card(s); they do not need to be ordered)

How do I obtain guest passes?

You can pick up your guest passes at any ticket desk, or order them online or call 617-369-3395 to receive your passes by mail. (Note: A $4.50 per-order mail fee is applied.)

I want my guest passes mailed to me with my membership cards; can you accommodate this?

Having guest passes mailed with membership cards is a benefit exclusive to the Leader level of membership and cannot be accommodated at any other level.

Can I have my guest passes sent to an address other than my own?

Unfortunately, guest passes can only be mailed to the address on your membership record.

When do my guest passes expire?

Guest passes expire when your current membership expires or when you renew your membership. Upon renewing, you will have access to a new allotment of guest passes determined by your membership level.

Reciprocal Admission

Who is eligible for reciprocal admission benefits?

Ambassador, Sustainer, and Leader members.

Which museums have reciprocal admission with the MFA?

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Cincinnati Art Museum
The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington
Dallas Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum
The Detroit Institute of Arts
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Saint Louis Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum
The Toledo Museum of Art
Vancouver Art Gallery
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

What benefits am I entitled to at these museums?

  • Free admission during regular hours (two adults per membership)
  • Free exhibition admission, when a separate ticket is not required
  • Admission to member previews, when a separate ticket is not required
  • On-site member discounts on shop purchases as well as lecture, concert, and film tickets

Communications

E-mail

What is MFA Mail?

MFA Mail is e-mail that keeps you up-to-date on everything that happens at the Museum, including member events. You can customize these e-mails by selecting the types of topics that interest you.

How do I sign up?

Visit to sign up for MyMFA. To customize e-mail, fill out the “About Me” section.

Preview Magazine

What is Preview?

Preview is the MFA members' magazine, with information on exhibitions and the collections as well as a calendar of events and programs.

How do I receive the magazine?

Your subscription to Preview begins automatically. This is a bimonthly publication, so your first issue may take up to eight weeks to arrive.

Discounts

Bookstore and Shop

What is my discount?

You save 10% at the Bookstore and Shops, in stores and online. Please note that the discount does not apply to consignment merchandise, Revere Portfolio prints, gift cards, or MFA memberships.

How does my discount work?

Present your membership card at checkout. If you are shopping online, log in using your membership number and zip code.

Dining

What is my discount?

You save 15% at all four Museum dining venues.

How does my discount work?

Present your membership card upon payment.

MFA Guide

Are MFA Guides discounted or free?

Supporter, Contributor, and Ambassador Discounted guides are available for $5 each ($4 for children).
Sustainer and Leader Complimentary guides are available for you and your guests.
All members and their guests are entitled to complimentary guides during Member Guest Days.

What is the MFA Guide?

Get a deeper look into the art you love with a mobile MFA Guide. Get insights from curators, conservators, and artists on exhibitions and artwork through images, audio, and video. Free for visitors who are Deaf or blind

Where do I get one?

Pick up a guide at any ticket desk, Sharf Visitor Center, and the entrance to Gund Gallery, LG31, when an exhibition is on view.

Parking

What is my discount?

Depending on the length of your stay, you can save up to 40% on parking. The maximum day rate for member parking is $15; maximum evening rate (Monday-Friday, after 5:30 pm) is $13.

How does my discount work?

Insert your parking ticket at the exit-lane pay stations or the kiosks in the garage lobby, then scan your membership card. Your discount is applied and a new total is displayed on the screen.

Can I prepay?

Save time and avoid delays by prepaying for parking if you are visiting for more than two hours. Take your ticket to the kiosks in the garage lobby. Before inserting your ticket, press the Prepay button. Then insert your ticket, scan your membership card, and pay the new total. Keep your ticket with you; you will need it to exit the garage.

Program Tickets

What is my discount?

The discount on film, concert, lecture, and course tickets varies depending on the type of program and general admission price. Members generally save up to 20%.

How do I obtain discount tickets?

Present your membership card at any ticket desk to purchase discounted tickets. If you are purchasing tickets online, log in or sign up for member discount.

How many discount tickets am I allowed to purchase?

Members can purchase up to 4 discount tickets for each program.

I just purchased a membership; can I order discount tickets if I don't yet know my membership number?

Yes. Your membership is effective immediately upon purchase. If you purchased your membership online, you can purchase member-priced tickets online using the account you created. Additionally, you can always call 617-369-3395 or visit any ticket desk to purchase tickets with your member discount.

Events

Exhibition Opening Events

What are exhibition opening events?

These ticketed events are exclusive opportunities to celebrate a new exhibition or area of the collection at an evening reception.

How do I attend?

You will be mailed an invitation and receive e-mail with information on obtaining tickets to events.
Ambassador You may purchase up to six tickets.
Sustainer and Leader You are entitled to two complimentary tickets and can purchase up to six additional tickets if you like.

Member Events

Are free events offered for members? How do I attend?

Visit Membership to see upcoming events. Tickets are required for these events and are available online, in person, or by phone, first come, first served. We recommend getting your tickets online.

Why are some member events ticketed?

Member events began as drop-in, first come, first served events. This proved problematic as we inevitably had to turn away members, many of whom had traveled to the Museum solely to attend the event. Based on member feedback, we switched to a ticket-based system so members could plan accordingly, and to ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to reserve a spot.

When a member who has reserved a ticket has not shown up by the start of the event, why isn't their ticket released for another member?

We cannot assume the member will not show up. Oftentimes, a member will be running late, and we cannot simply give up their spot to other people. Just as other venues can't resell tickets that have already been sold, we can't reissue tickets that are already reserved.

At what time should I arrive for a member event?

We recommend that members arrive 10-15 minutes before the event.

How do you determine how many members can attend each event?

Event capacities are determined by fire codes for the particular galleries or auditoriums in which the event is taking place; the ability of groups to navigate spaces throughout the Museum; and an attempt to ensure everyone can hear and see the program being presented. This is done to provide the most enjoyable experience for all members in attendance. For tours, we can accommodate 20 members per departing group. For events in the Alfond Auditorium, we can accommodate 150 members, and in Remis Auditorium, 380 members.

Member Family Days

What are Member Family Days and how do I attend?

The Museum hosts five Member Family Days throughout the year (visit Membership to see upcoming events) with art activities and themed programs. No tickets are required.

Member Guest Days

What are Member Guest Days and how do I attend?

The Museum offers Member Guest Days throughout the year as opportunities for you to bring additional guests to the Museum (beyond the general admission privileges of your membership, without having to use your guest passes). No tickets are required; just show your membership card to the guards at either entrance.

Member Preview Days

What are Member Preview Days and how do I attend?

Member Preview Days are the first opportunity to see the Museum’s biggest exhibitions—and avoid the crowds before they open to the general public. No tickets are required; just present your membership card at the gallery entrance for admission.

Can I bring guests to Member Preview Days?

Any guests admitted to the Museum with you, whether through the general admission privileges of your membership or through paid admission, may accompany you during Member Preview Days.

Member Shopping Days

What are Member Shopping Days and how do I participate?

Member Shopping Days are offered several times a year as opportunities for you to double your discount with 20% off Bookstore and Shop purchases, in stores and online. Please note that the discount does not apply to consignment merchandise, Revere Portfolio prints, gift cards, or MFA memberships.

Friends of the MFA

Do I need to be a member to be a friend?

Yes, Museum membership is a prerequisite for participation.
Fan open to all Museum members
Enthusiast open to upper-level Museum members (Membership at $750 or more; Museum Council at $600 or more), Patrons, and Benefactors

How do I join or renew?

Visit Friends Levels and Groups, select the group you want to join, and click "Join or Renew." You will be prompted to log in and validate your Museum membership before you can proceed.

Why can't I join or renew?

The most likely reason is that you don't meet the Museum membership prerequisite. See "Do I need to be a member to be a Friend?"

How long is my Friends participation valid for?

Your participation as a Friend expires on the same date as your Museum membership. If you are a Museum Benefactor or Life member, your participation is valid for 12 months from when you join.

Friends of Film Tickets

How do I obtain my free tickets?

To order tickets, go to /film, call 1-800-440-6975, or visit any MFA ticket desk.

Can I order my free tickets in advance?

Yes, you can order advance tickets, if tickets are available, at any time after the screening’s on-sale date.

Are tickets guaranteed?

Tickets are not guaranteed. Please keep in mind that although same-day tickets are often available for many of our screenings, many programs do sell out.

Gift Membership

May I request a gift membership be sent to me instead of my recipient?

Yes. When purchasing a gift membership, you will be asked to indicate your preference. Please note that complete contact information—including mailing address and phone—for both you and your gift recipient is required.

I don’t want to provide contact information for myself or my gift recipient; Can I still purchase a gift membership?

We’re sorry, but complete contact information—including mailing address and phone—for both you and your gift recipient is required to process memberships. Please note that this information is for MFA use only.

Miscellaneous

When will I receive my membership card?

You will receive your membership card within 10 business days of joining the MFA; however, your membership is effective immediately upon purchase, and you can always visit the Museum without your membership card. (See “Can I visit without my membership card?” for more information.)

How do I get a replacement membership card?

Lost or stolen membership cards can be replaced for a $5 fee, which covers printing, processing, and mailing costs. You can order a replacement card by phone at 617-369-3395 or in person at any ticket desk.

Can I visit without my membership card?

Yes. On the day of your visit, simply tell a representative at any ticket desk that you would like a member day pass. You will need to provide the representative with your name and membership number. A confirmation e-mail will speed the look-up process. The representative will print a member day pass for you, which will entitle you to all the benefits of membership for the day of your visit.

How do I upgrade my membership?

You can upgrade your membership by phone at 617-369-3395, in person at any ticket desk, or by mail to Membership, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, PO Box 9002, Pittsfield, MA 01202-9002.

What is the duration of membership?

Memberships are effective immediately on the date of purchase, and expire on the last day of the month of purchase, one year in the future. For example, if you purchase a membership on 1/1/2015, your membership will expire on 1/31/2016.

Why are there price ranges for membership?

We've found that many members want to give above and beyond their membership dues; price ranges were introduced to accommodate this. Because the MFA receives less than 1% of its funding from local, state, and government sources, any extra gift, in any amount, makes a big difference.

Why is there no senior membership level?

Seniors make up nearly half of our membership base, and the Museum values their support immensely. In order to maintain a vibrant and exciting art museum (or even to heat and light the galleries) we must do everything we can to keep our operating budget in balance, and we are not able to offer a senior rate. The Museum makes every effort to keep the price of membership affordable and you will find that our membership rates are competitive with like institutions.

What is the tax deductibility of my membership?

Supporter, Contributor, and Ambassador fully tax deductible
Sustainer $210 per couple, $105 per individual is not tax deductible
Leader $270 per couple, $135 per individual is not tax deductible

May I change or update the name(s) on my membership?

If you are the primary name on your membership, you may submit a request to membership@mfa.org, by phone at 617-369-3395, or in person. Please note that memberships are nontransferable and any requests to do so will not be honored.