Free Workshops

Work with other teachers and MFA educators to explore ways of enlivening the classroom using Museum objects as teaching tools – and prepare for your upcoming school group visit to the MFA. Our workshops typically feature a slide presentation by a curator or guest speaker, followed by conversations in the galleries with Gallery Instructors. 

Online registration is required, at least 24 hours before the workshop date. Registration will be available for all of the 2016-2017 workshops on September 1, 2016 at 10 am.

Teacher Professional Development Programs are funded in part by The Rabb/Goldberg/Cahners Fund for Teacher Resources.


Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence
Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 4-6 pm

In the 15th century Luca della Robbia was admired and ranked among the most innovative and expressive artists of the time, along with Donatello, Masaccio, Ghiberti, and Brunelleschi. Known for a glazing technique that allowed for brilliant opaque whites and deep cerulean blues, della Robbia produced sculptures that retain their original colors and shine and have immense emotional appeal. Learn more about this fascinating artist and explore ways of incorporating this special exhibition into your history or visual arts curriculum.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History I)

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William Merritt Chase
Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 4-6 pm

A brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter, a skilled promoter and an important teacher, William Merritt Chase was a leader in international art circles at the turn of the century. Chase was praised for his sympathetic images of women, jewel-like landscapes, views of urban parks, and scenes of children at play. Explore the MFA’s new exhibition of one of our country’s leading American Impressionists, and discover the connections between his work and the history and culture of the United States in the 19th and early 20th century.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: US History II)

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Political Intent/Beyond Limits
Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 4-6 pm

Two new contemporary exhibitions opening this fall present key works and recent acquisitions from the MFA’s Contemporary collection. Political Intent explores how artists creatively visualize social issues to generate awareness, discourse or action, while Beyond Limits features abstract works that extend beyond traditional norms by stretching imagery, materials and metaphors. This workshop will highlight the key themes addressed in these exhibitions, and provide teachers with inspiration for making connections between the work of 20th and 21st century artists and the events and issues of the present day.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: US History II, World History II)

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Impressionism: A Closer Look
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 4-6 pm

The MFA is home to one of the most important collections of Impressionist art in the United States. With the recent re-installation of the Museum’s galleries of late 19th century painting and sculpture, visitors can gain fresh insights into this enormously popular time period in art history. This workshop will re-visit some old favorites, introduce some new and insightful comparisons, and inspire you to integrate these Boston treasures into your visual art, world history, or foreign language curriculum.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History II; Foreign Languages Culture Strand)

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Making Modern
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 4-6 pm

A new installation on the third floor of the MFA’s Art of the Americas Wing explores the notion of “Making Modern” in the 20th century. From Alfred Stieglitz to Frida Kahlo to Jackson Pollock, modern artists in the Americas were influenced by a variety of artists, teachers, colleagues and friends. Starting with diverse sources of inspiration, they took their art in dramatic new directions. At this workshop, teachers can trace these new ideas across cultures and consider ways to make connections between the changing art world of the 20th century and the events that influenced its evolution.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: US History II, World History II)

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Stories in Art
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 4-6 pm

Works of art frequently reveal stories that reflect the beliefs and stories that cultures share with each other and with the rest of the world. The MFA’s collection illustrates a diverse array of stories that are populated by interesting characters and take place in settings as close as Boston itself and as far away as the other side of the world. Join us for an interactive exploration of our galleries and discover the many tales these objects can tell.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: various)

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Matisse at Work
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 4-6 pm

This spring the MFA will host the first major museum exhibition to focus on the profound importance of Henri Matisse’s personal collection of objects on his creative process. The exhibition will showcase Matisse’s paintings, sculptures and works on paper alongside decorative and sculptural objects from his personal collection, including textiles, sculptures and masks from the non-Western traditions that Matisse greatly admired, as well as photographs both of works in progress and of Matisse’s various studios that vividly recreate the artist’s working spaces. This workshop will inspire teachers who are teaching about French history and culture – or facilitating students’ exploration of the artistic process.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History II; Foreign Languages Culture Strand)

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Botticelli
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 4-6 pm

As the first century of the Renaissance came to its close in the 1490s, the greatest painter in Florence was indisputably Sandro Botticelli, whose path of success had been guided by his allegiance to the Medici ruling family headed by Lorenzo the Magnificent. Botticelli had returned their favor with mythological paintings that reflected the Medici’s passion for classical antiquity, some of which endure as the unforgettable images of the Renaissance in Florence and beyond. This workshop will give teachers the opportunity to look closely at his work both as an artistic achievement as well as a reflection of the flourishring culture of the Italian Renaissance.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History I)

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Professional Teacher Membership Discount

Pre-K through grade 12 teachers can receive a $30 discount on membership and enjoy all the benefits of membership. Proof of active teaching status is required to receive discount; visit any MFA ticket desk and present your school ID, letter from the principal or head on school letterhead, or current MTA card. Please note: discount is available in person only; mailed requests will not be honored.


Sponsors

Teacher Professional Development Programs are funded in part by The Rabb/Goldberg/Cahners Fund for Teacher Resources.

MFA for Educators is made possible through the generous support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.