Advanced Exhibition Schedule

Upcoming Exhibitions and New Galleries


Hokusai April 5–August 9, 2015
In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11 April 5—July 12, 2015
Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty
April 15–June 14, 2015
20th-Century Britain July 11, 2015—February 21, 2016
Unfinished Stories: Snapshots from the Peter J. Cohen Collection July 11, 2015—February 21, 2016
8 Brokens: Bapo Painting August 29, 2015–April 17, 2016
Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia August 5–February 15, 2016
Crafted: Objects in Flux August 25, 2015–January 10, 2016
Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer October 11, 2015—January 18, 2016
Kenneth Paul Block December 12, 2015—August 14, 2016

Current Exhibitions


Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom through April 9, 2015
National Pride (and Prejudice) through April 12, 2015
Inside the Box: Massachusetts Time Capsule Revealed through April 22, 2015
Visiting Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt’s Adam and Eve through April 27, 2015
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection through May 10, 2015
Over There! Posters from World War I through June 14, 2015
Playing with Paper: Japanese Toy Prints through July 19, 2015
Court Ladies or Pin-Up Girls? Chinese Paintings from the MFA, Boston through July 19, 2015
Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott through September 13, 2015
Herb Ritts through November 8, 2015
Nature, Sculpture, Abstraction, and Clay: 100 Years of American Ceramics through January 3, 2016
Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia through May 14, 2017
Landscape, abstracted through Summer 2017
Arts of the Pacific Gallery opened  November 11, 2014

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery exhibitions are in bold.  Please contact Public Relations to verify titles and dates before publication:



Ann and Graham Gund Gallery
April 5–August 9, 2015

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and he continues to inspire artists around the world. As the home of the largest and finest collection of Japanese art outside Japan––including the greatest variety of Hokusai works in any museum––the MFA, is uniquely positioned to offer a comprehensive exhibition of this remarkable artist. Drawing from extensive holdings of paintings, woodblock prints and illustrated printed books, the Museum will showcase over 200 works from Hokusai’s seven-decade career, including lesser-known pieces depicting whimsical instructions on how to draw, dynamic paintings on paper lanterns and elaborate cut-out dioramas. Also displayed are some of the most famous images in Japanese art, including Under the Wave Off Kanagawa (Great Wave) (about 1830–31)––from the legendary series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji––and the brilliantly colored multi-panel screen painting, Phoenix (1835). Spanning Hokusai’s work from his 20s through his 80s, the exhibition will explore common themes through sections dedicated to topics such as landscapes, nature, fantasy and the “Floating World” of urban culture (including depictions of the Kabuki theater and the Yoshiwara pleasure district). Works that depict Japanese historical and literary motifs will be featured along with “perspective prints” with exaggerated vanishing points for use in toy peep shows. An extremely delicate silk square of a mythological Chinese lion, likely used as a gift wrapper (fukusa), will also be included, in a rare public display of the fragile work. Media sponsor is WCVB-TV Boston. With generous support from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Exhibition Fund. See press release for more information.

In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11

The Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
April 5—July 12, 2015

The Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011 and an enormous wave of water swept through towns in the Tōhoku (Northeast) region, destroying virtually everything in its path and irrevocably damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This triple disaster was of such epic proportions that it became a defining moment for the people of Japan. A number of photographers felt compelled to record not only the events’ physical effects on the land, but also to interpret the overarching significance of the tragedy through art. This exhibition is the first in the US or Japan to explore the photographic response to these events. Divided into two sections––the first focused on the earthquake and tsunami and the second on the Fukushima disaster––the exhibition will include the work of 17 photographers, some of whom are among Japan’s most celebrated artists (such as Naoya Hatakeyama and Nobuyoshi Araki) and others who are emerging talents. Taken as a whole, their work explores the way art provides a powerful language for reflecting on tragic events and contributing to human recovery.  An illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition. Presented with generous support from Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne. Additional support from the Ishibashi Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation, Brian J. Knez, and the Barbara Jane Anderson Fund. Supporting sponsorship from Shiseido Co., Ltd. The catalogue is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Publications Fund. See press release for more information.

Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty

April 15—June 14, 2015
Lois and Michael Torf Gallery

This exhibition features a number of the most admired drawings of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), one of the world’s most celebrated artists. Organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art, this entrancing exhibition explores the artist’s concepts of ideal beauty. Throughout his career, Leonardo experimented with different types of drawings: scientific studies made from life, grotesque caricatures, and the most beautiful images of men and women that he could envision. Because he left so few paintings, Leonardo’s drawings have been recognized for centuries as the deepest window into his thinking. The artist poured the full fervor of his intelligence and creative powers into the works on view, which offer a rich and varied selection of loans from Italy––primarily from the Uffizi Museum in Florence and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, as well as the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the ancestral property of Michelangelo. The Codex on Flight, an important loan from the Biblioteca Reale, features a newly discovered self-portrait from 1505. Leonardo’s works represent the culmination of the early Renaissance idea of beauty, and reflect his view that ideal beauty could be observed by study of the most perfect human features. Human ugliness also fascinated and frightened Leonardo, serving as a living contrast to his idea of physical perfection. The exhibition also includes select drawings by Michelangelo (1475–1564) lent from the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, offering a unique opportunity to compare a series of these rivals’ drawings. Media sponsor is Boston Magazine. Presented with support from the Cordover Exhibition Fund and the MFA Associates/MFA Senior Associates Exhibition Endowment Fund. Organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Virginia in partnership with Associazione Culturale Metamorfosi.

20th-Century Britain (working title)

July 11, 2015—February 21, 2016
Frances Vrachos Gallery

This survey of more than 50 British prints and drawings from the 20th century features rarely seen works from the MFA’s collection as well as recent acquisitions and loans. Ranging from a 1890s drawing of Brittany by Post-Impressionist Robert Bevan to a 1999 etching by Lucian Freud––perhaps the greatest figural artist of his generation––works on view present a surprising mixture of subjects and styles. A highlight of the exhibition is a selection of color linocuts made by Grosvenor School artists Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews and Lill Tschudi, while abstract works on view demonstrate the “Vorticist” style––a uniquely British variant of Futurism and Cubism. Other sections of the exhibition touch on landscape and architecture; differing depictions of the human figure (including works by Frank Auerbach and David Hockney); and the British Pop explosion of the 1960s.

Unfinished Stories: Snapshots from the Peter J. Cohen Collection  (working title)

July 11, 2015—February 21, 2016 
Mary Stamas Gallery

The term “snapshot” was popularized shortly after the invention of Kodak’s box camera in the 1880s, and came to describe photographs of everyday life taken by a handheld camera. Now, over a century later, these once ubiquitous silver-based photographs are rapidly being replaced by Instagram and other digital forms of photography. This exhibition celebrates snapshots from the Peter J. Cohen collection of “vernacular” photographs. This avid collector rescued over 35,000 lost, discarded or disowned personal photographs dating back to 1890 and spanning the entire 20th century. In the process of endless searching for photographs at flea markets, antique shops, galleries, Ebay and private dealers, he found an array of mesmerizing, often humorous works that had been removed from their original contexts and depict a century of image-making by private photographers. In the exhibition, over 100 found photographs reveal the lives of strangers through intimate exposures that commemorate important events, document travel and celebrate everyday life.

8 Brokens: Bapo Painting(working title)

Asian Paintings Gallery
August 29, 2015–April 17, 2016

This will be the first ever exhibition dedicated to bapo painting, a revolutionary artistic genre that emerged in China during the mid-19th century. Bapo (“eight brokens”) paintings, created with Chinese ink and colors on paper or silk, are startlingly realistic trompe-l’oeil depictions of damaged cultural ephemera––worm-eaten calligraphies, partial book pages, burned paintings, remnants of rubbings and torn-open letters––usually arranged in a haphazard, collage-like composition. When bapo emerged, this unexpected imagery was radically distinct from classical Chinese landscape and figure painting, and became popular among an aspiring, urban middle class delighted by its visual trickery and sophistication. After 1949, the art form was largely forgotten, but has recently been re-discovered by contemporary artists and collectors. This exhibition will present some of the finest examples of bapo paintings (dating to the early 19th century) as well as contemporary work by artists such as Geng Xuezhi, including several new acquisitions and loans from museums and private collections located in the United States, Europe and China. Paintings will be interspersed with three-dimensional decorative and functional objects that display bapo imagery, such as porcelain plates and jars, inner-painted snuff bottles, bamboo, wood and metal carved containers. An illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition.

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia

Lois and Michael Torf Gallery
August 18, 2015–February 15, 2016

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia is the first large-scale, pan-American exhibition to examine the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas.  Though this history is largely overlooked today, the Americas became a major destination for objects made in Asia beginning in the 16th century, and Asian influences can be found in places as far apart as Boston and Peru. Featuring nearly 100 of the most extraordinary objects produced in the colonial Americas, this exhibition relates the rich, complex story of how craftsmen throughout the hemisphere adapted Asian styles in a range of objects from furniture to silverwork, textiles, ceramics and painting.  Exquisite objects from Mexico City, Lima, Quito, Quebec City, Boston, New York and Philadelphia, dating from the 17th to the early 19th centuries, include folding screens made in Mexico (in imitation of imported Japanese and Chinese screens), blue-and-white talavera ceramics (copied from imported Chinese porcelains), and luxuriously woven textiles (made to replicate fine silks and cottons imported from China and India).  The timing of the exhibition marks the 450th anniversary of the beginning of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade between the Philippines and Mexico, which was inaugurated in 1565 and lasted for an astonishing two and a half centuries.  The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with essays by a team of leading experts.  The exhibition is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Crafted: Objects in Flux

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
August 25, 2015–January 10, 2016

This exhibition explores a movement in “flux,” focusing on contemporary craft-based artists who are finding new ways to fully explore their disciplines. Featuring a selection of works from across the landscape of contemporary craft, the exhibition includes more than 30 emerging and established international artists, each of whom embraces and explores the increasingly blurred boundaries between art, craft and design. Looking to a broad range of materials and practices, the exhibition explores important issues including the connection between craft and performance; the role of new tools and materials; and the power of craft to interact with architecture. As the first exhibition of its kind within an encyclopedic museum, Crafted offers the opportunity to examine these works in proximity to historical examples in the MFA’s renowned collection. Featuring a variety of loans and new acquisitions, the exhibition demonstrates the vitality and viability of choosing skilled craft for contemporary artistic practice. An illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition.

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery
October 11, 2015—January 18, 2016

Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes. The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.

Kenneth Paul Block (working title)

Clementine Haas Michel Brown Gallery
December 12, 2015—August 14, 2016

Kenneth Paul Block (1925–2009) is arguably the most important fashion illustrator of the second half of the 20th century. His versatility and ability to create a gesture or evoke the high energy of the post-WWII generation make his work stand out among illustrators of his time. Throughout his career, mainly with the magazine Women’s Wear Daily ( WWD), he chronicled fashionable designs and the lifestyles of the people who wore them. Blending illustration and portraiture, his drawings of figures like Jacqueline Kennedy, Babe Paley and Gloria Guinness capture the sophistication of the era’s socialites and celebrities. This chronological survey contains approximately 30 works spanning Block’s career from the 1950s into the 1990sdrawing from the MFA’s repository of Block’s extensive archive of drawings. Including examples of fashion illustrations, society portraits and interiors, works range from early black-and-white drawings in charcoal to later works in watercolor and colored pencil.


 Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom

through April 9, 2015
William I. Koch Gallery (European Painting and Hanoverian Silver)

Premiering in the United States from March 11 to April 9, Sonic Blossom by Lee Mingwei (born 1964, Taiwan) invites visitors to receive the personal gift of song from an opera singer. For this participatory installation, Lee auditioned and trained Boston-area soloists to offer spontaneous one-on-one performances of short Lieder (art songs) by Franz Schubert. Wearing a specially designed costume, the singer approaches a visitor in the galleries. If the visitor chooses to accept a song he or she is guided by the singer to a special chair and music stand in the dramatic William I. Koch Gallery for the performance. Performances occur intermittently throughout the hour (not on a set schedule), with each song lasting approximately 4 minutes. The first extended exhibition of performance art in MFA history, Sonic Blossom has previously toured South Korea, China and Japan. Lee is internationally renowned for projects that prompt connections and invite trust, creativity and self-awareness. He also has a long history with Boston, first exhibiting at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1999. Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom is supported by the Museum Council Artist in Residency Program Fund. Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.

National Pride (and Prejudice)

Edward H. Linde Gallery 
through April 12, 2015

The American Flag, Stonehenge, Chairman Mao Zedong: instantly recognizable, powerful symbols of the nations that produced them. But what instills pride in one citizen may be a call to protest for another, or may represent a complex combination of thoughts and feelings. The seven works in this installation take a critical look at such images to spark dialogue around provocative issues of national identity. They challenge long-held assumptions about these symbols with a combination of humor, beauty and biting commentary, highlighting the close link between politics and contemporary art. A new acquisition, Jeremy Deller’s off-the-wall video portrait of British culture, English Magic (2013), is accompanied by works by Dave Cole, Burhan Dogancay, Matthew Day Jackson, Lyle Ashton Harris, Catherine Opie and Stan Nanchez. With generous support from The Contemporaries.

Inside the Box: Massachusetts State House Time Capsule Revealed

through April 22, 2015, 
Kristin and Roger Servison Gallery (Art of the New Nation)

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), have announced that the MA State House time capsule and its contents (which were unearthed this past December and opened in January) will be on view at the MFA before being reburied. Originally placed under the State House cornerstone by Governor Samuel Adams, patriot Paul Revere and Colonel William Scollay in 1795, the capsule was opened at the MFA on January 6 as former Governor Deval Patrick, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, Malcolm Rogers, the MFA’s Ann and Graham Gund Director, and media around the world looked on. The time capsule had been previously unearthed in 1855, when its contents were documented and cleaned, and additional objects were added. The time capsule, which contained coins, newspapers, a medal depicting George Washington and a silver plaque believed to be engraved by Paul Revere, will be on view in the Museum’s Art of the Americas Wing. Displayed in front of the monumental Thomas Sully painting, The Passage of the Delaware (1819), the installation will explore the significance of the objects found in the capsule and the role of the prominent figures involved in both the original burial in 1795, and reburial in 1855. Surrounded by related works of art on view throughout the Wing, visitors will also see portraits of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley, coins identical to those in the time capsule, and other historical objects in nearby galleries. See press release for more information.

Visiting Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt’s Adam and Eve

Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery 
through April 27, 2015

For the first time in its history, the MFA will exhibit a painting by Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)—among the most important artists of the early 20th century. Adam and Eve (1917-1918) will be on loan from the Belvedere Museum in Vienna as part of the MFA’s Visiting Masterpiece series, giving visitors a taste of the artist’s signature style, including his sensuous approach to the nude, his bold experiments with pattern, color and finish, and his exploration of human consciousness and desire. The work will be juxtaposed with the MFA’s life-sized study of a nude couple, Two Nudes (Lovers) (1913), painted by Klimt’s Viennese friend and colleague, Oskar Kokoschka (Austrian, 1886–1980). Just five years separate the two paintings, which share many features—ambitious scale, daring experiments with form and finish, and, above all, a fascination with sexuality. Each is, in its own way, a product of Freud’s Vienna, but also of a singular artist with a singular vision. See press release for more information.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection

Edward and Nancy Roberts Family Gallery  
through May 10, 2015

Lockheed Constellation. Burlington Zephyr. Lincoln Futura. These are just three of the iconic transportation vehicles represented in this dynamic and playful exhibition drawn from the extensive collection of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf.  Visitors can share Fred’s passion for the art and design of transportation, which captures the excitement that accompanied the simple act of getting from one place to another at mid-century. Nearly 90 works on view include scale models of planes, trains and automobiles, as well as design drawings, architectural renderings and posters—many created by major designers such as Raymond Loewy, Harley Earl and Viktor Schreckengost. These transportation design elements—including experiments with aerodynamics, streamlining and color—influenced the larger world of art, architecture and design, and can be compared with objects found throughout the MFA’s galleries. Funding for this exhibition was provided by Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf.

Over There! Posters from World War I

Mary Stamas Gallery and Frances Vrachos Gallery
through June 14, 2015

Timed to coincide with the100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, this exhibition features more than 40 wartime posters from the United States and Europe—including select examples from Britain, France, Germany and Russia. This exhibition is the first time since 1938 that many of the works will be on view, and marks the first display of the I Want You for U.S. Army (1917) poster by James Montgomery Flagg at the Museum, which was acquired by in 2009. Many of the works on view were used for recruitment and enlistment campaigns for the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Service, while others depict appeals to buy war bonds (Liberty Loans), conserve food (from the US Food Administration), assist the Red Cross, donate books and maintain a strong work ethic on the home front (from the US Shipping Board). For more information, please visit our press release.

Playing with Paper: Japanese Toy Prints

Japanese Print Gallery
through July 19, 2015

By the middle of the 19th century, color woodblock printing in Japan was so widespread and inexpensive that it could profitably be used to make toys for children—which were no doubt enjoyed by many adults as well. This exhibition (one of the first of its kind outside Japan) features “toy prints” (asobi-e or  omocha-e ) such as colorful board games, paper dolls, cutout dioramas and pictorial riddles, as well as scenes showing how the toys and games were enjoyed. Thanks largely to the eclectic taste of William Sturgis Bigelow, the donor of over half of the Museum’s collection, the MFA has a fine assortment of these intriguing and unusual materials. In particular, a group of large paper board games by major 19th-century artists is presented in pristine condition. With generous support from the Dr. Robert A. and Dr. Veronica Petersen Fund for Exhibitions.

Court Ladies or Pin-Up Girls? Chinese Paintings from the MFA, Boston

Asian Paintings Gallery
through July 19, 2015

Across all cultures, physical allure has been a central focus of depicting women in art. In China, the rich visual cultures of the region have produced many different images of women in accordance with the fashions, styles, aesthetics and concepts of beauty. Works that today seem to be modest depictions of beautiful women may have been considered highly suggestive when first created. This exhibition includes paintings, prints, posters and photographs of women by Chinese artists from the 11th through the 20th century, several of which have recently been reinterpreted as erotic, leaving other works open to reconsideration. On view is one of the MFA’s great masterpieces of Chinese paintings, Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk  (1082-1135), as well as turn-of-the century hand-colored photographs of courtesans, 1930s advertisement posters, and 20th-century propaganda posters of female agriculture workers.  Presented with support from the Rodger and Dawn Nordblom Fund for Chinese Paintings in Honor of Marjorie C. Nordblom and The June and John C. Robinson Fund for Chinese Paintings in Honor of Marjorie C. Nordblom. See press release for more information.

Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott

Robert and Jane Burke Gallery 
through September 13, 2015

Gordon Parks (1912-2006), one of the most celebrated African-American artists of his time, is the subject of this exhibition of groundbreaking photographs of Fort Scott, Kansas––focusing on the realities of life under segregation during the 1940s, but also relating to Parks’ own fascinating life story. In 1948, Parks became the first African-American photographer to be hired full time by LIFE magazine. One of the rare African-American photojournalists in the field, Parks was frequently given magazine assignments involving social issues that his fellow white photographers were not asked to cover. In 1950, Parks returned to his hometown in Kansas to make a series of photographs meant to accompany an article that he planned to call “Back to Fort Scott.” Fort Scott was the town that he had left more than 20 years earlier, when as a teenager his mother died and he found himself—the youngest of 15 children—suddenly having to make his own way in the world. He used this assignment to revisit early memories of his birthplace, many involving serious racial discrimination, and to reconnect with childhood friends, all of whom went to the same all-black grade school that Parks had attended. One of the most visually rich and captivating of all his projects, Parks’ photographs for the story, now owned by The Gordon Parks Foundation, were slated to appear in April 1951, but in the end were never published. This exhibition represents a rarely seen view of everyday lives of African-American citizens in the years before the Civil Rights movement began in earnest. Sponsored by Northern Trust. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with The Gordon Parks Foundation. Presented with support from the Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Exhibition Fund. See press release for more information.

Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts and Clementine Brown Galleries 
March 14–November 8, 2015

Herb Ritts (1952-2002) was a leading American photographer of the 1980s and 1990s, known for his beautifully printed, formally bold and sensual black and white images of supermodels such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell.  This new exhibition of the photographer’s work revisits the artist, whose groundbreaking 1996 retrospective, Herb Ritts: WORK, remains one of the most popular exhibitions in MFA history. The Ritts Foundation has given the Museum a print of every image in the 1996 exhibition, and in 2007, supported the MFA’s first gallery dedicated solely to photography. The Museum’s Herb Ritts and Clementine Brown galleries will host the new exhibition, which will feature an array of Ritts’ photographs celebrating the human body and embracing the carefree California lifestyle. Media sponsor is Boston Magazine. With support from the Benjamin A. Trustman and Julia M. Trustman Fund. See press release for more information.

Nature, Sculpture, Abstraction, and Clay: 100 Years of American Ceramics

Bernard and Barbara Stern Shapiro Gallery 
through January 3, 2016

This exhibition explores ceramic art from the late 19th century to today–from the Arts and Crafts movement to Mid-Century Modernism to Studio Craft and Contemporary practice. Outstanding works that display the transformative nature of clay include objects drawn from the MFA’s rich holdings as well as a number of local private collections. The exhibition features more than 70 works–including recent acquisitions from the Daphne Farago Collection and The Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons Collection, given in honor of Jules and Jeannette Aarons–organized into three thematic sections: Sculpture and AbstractionNature and Landscape and Surface and Decoration. Many of the objects have never before been on display in a museum, with the majority making their MFA debut. Pushing the boundaries between functional and sculptural, the works demonstrate unprecedented experimentation not only with forms, colors and glazes, but also with the role of clay as an artistic and sculptural medium. Highlighting the connections between contemporary art and the art of the past, the exhibition explores each generation’s distinct style, examining how the potter has been redefined as an artist, and how ceramics have been redefined as a vehicle for artistic expression. Diverse highlights include The Pines tile manufactured by Grueby Faience Company around 1906-20, a Gourd-Shaped Vase by Gertrud and Otto Natzler from 1958 and a newly acquired porcelain sculpture, December (2013) by Cheryl Ann Thomas. Presented with generous support from the John and Bette Cohen Fund for Contemporary Decorative Arts. See press release for more information.

Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia

Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery
through May 14, 2017

The Museum’s world-class collection of jewelry from Ancient Nubia will be the focus of this dazzling exhibition in the Kaplan Gallery—one of only a few galleries at US museums solely dedicated to jewelry. The MFA’s collection of Nubian adornments is the most comprehensive outside Khartoum, a result of an early 20th-century expedition by the Museum with Harvard University. The MFA is the only US museum able to mount an exhibition devoted solely to Nubian adornment drawing exclusively on its own collection. Jewels of Ancient Nubia will illustrate the complex relationship which Ancient Nubia, located in what is now Sudan, had with its neighbors. As the conduit between the Mediterranean world and lands south of the Nile Valley, Nubia was known for its exotic luxury goods—especially gold. The exhibition will focus on excavated ornaments, dating from 1700 BC to the 300 AD, including both uniquely Nubian and foreign imports, prized for their materials, craftsmanship, symbolism, innovation and rarity. Jewels of Ancient Nubia will exhibit some 100 objects, including a gilt-silver mummy mask of Queen Malakaye and the famous Hathor-headed crystal pendantFor more information, please visit press release.

Landscape, Abstracted

On view in the Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria, Level 2; Hope and Mel Barkan Art Wall; and Michael D. Wolk Art Wall
through May 30, 2017

The Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art has been revitalized as the Upper Cohen Galleria adopts a new theme: Landscape, Abstracted. Approximately 10 newly installed works are on view, including sculpture, installation, paintings and new media—all building on the MFA’s long tradition of collecting exceptional landscapes. Contemporary artist Jason Middlebrook was invited to paint the largest wall in the space, which measures 24 by 80 feet. Middlebrook’s signature patterning weds the geometry of modern abstraction with the lines of wood grain to “create a tension between something organic and something man-made.” Pieces that expand the definition of “landscape” beyond the horizon line include School of the Museum of Fine Arts professor Barbara Gallucci’s interactive  Topia Chairs  (2008) and Spencer Finch’s fluorescent light piece Shield of Achilles (Dawn, Troy) (2013). The Museum is also commissioning a new site-specific work by artist Anne Lindberg, which evokes nature by using only thread and staples. The rotation marks the three-year anniversary of the Linde Family Wing, which has reinstalled or rotated more than 80 percent of works on view since it opened in September 2011—including the addition of Liliana Porter’s seminal wall painting,  Untitled (Shadows),  Martin Puryear’s Confessional (1996-2000) and Anish Kapoor’s  Untitled (Shu-red)  (2007). Funded by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation in loving memory of Rhonda S. Zinner. For more information, visit our press release.

Arts of the Pacific Gallery

Opened November 11, 2014

The Pacific Ocean could be called a “continent of water.” It covers more than one third of the Earth’s surface and is a realm of thousands of islands—from Indonesia and New Guinea to Easter Island off the coast of South America; from Hawaii in the north to New Zealand in the south. The works in this new gallery hail from the Pacific’s four main cultural spheres: the islands in and around Indonesia, Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Reflecting some of the central artistic traditions of Pacific Islanders, the works on view attest to the diverse and expressive use of many materials and forms: sculpted wood and stone, carved jade, engraved bamboo, delicate weavings and paintings on bark and wood. Some of these objects were used in daily life, while others had ceremonial and ritual functions, serving as links to the ancestral or spiritual worlds. See press release for more information.