Dear Friends,

Autumn brings Yankees to Fenway, acorns falling, and students back to Boston and the MFA. We welcome all learners and teachers. K–12 teachers from across New England receive free admission and, with nearly 50 university partners and 15 Pozen Community College Access Program participants, the MFA offers college students and faculty the unique opportunity to learn from original works of art spanning cultures and across time—from ancient to contemporary. The University Membership Program has recently been expanded to include faculty and staff, and college students get discounted tickets to films, lectures, and concerts—giving them better access to the wealth of exciting programs at the MFA all year.

A joyous experience for the whole family can be found in “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic,” an immersive presentation as close as we could make it to entering the pages of the 1926 book Winnie-the-Pooh, with its gentle characters created by A. A. Milne and classic pen-and-ink drawings by E. H. Shepard. For lovers of books, book illustration, prints, and, of course, Piglet and Winnie-the-Pooh, this exhibition is a treasure trove. It’s only open until January 6; be sure to get exhibition tickets (everybody needs one) in advance—you won’t want to miss it.

The depth and breadth of our collection, unrivaled in our region, is seen in “French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault,” offering a rare opportunity to get up close with masterworks by 19th-century artists such as Degas, Millet, Cassatt, and Pissarro. These remarkable artists—Impressionists and those who followed—captured the evanescent beauty of fleeting scenes soon to pass. And an exhibition from the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive examines the decades leading up to World War II through the postcard—everyday communication a century ago, filled with striking graphics, pithy slogans, and biting caricatures, all designed to change minds and inspire actions for both good and evil.

Art that confronts issues of our time is on view this fall as well, food for thought and conversation, from a display of contemporary icon Claes Oldenburg’s elegiac Shelf Life, juxtaposed with magnificent 17th-century Dutch still lifes, to South African artist Candice Breitz’s Love Story, an urgent testament to the worldwide refugee crisis and related issues of displacement, community, and connection. And finally (though there is more), ancient modes of communication are brought into the present day with the Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña’s “Disappeared Quipu,” a magical journey through and with the artistic language of the ancient Incas.

Please join us this fall to learn and discover, engage and enjoy. And, of course, to share. The MFA is here for you.

Matthew Teitelbaum
Ann and Graham Gund Director