Director’s Message

Dear Friends,

Join us this fall to enjoy revelatory new exhibitions and events celebrating culture and creativity. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with works that may be new to you and gain fresh perspectives on well-known artists, eras, and styles. We invite you to explore and experience them together at the MFA at upcoming community events.

With more than 50 paintings from museums and private collections around the world, the spectacular “Fashioned by Sargent,” opening in the Gund Gallery October 8, presents beloved Boston artist John Singer Sargent’s portraits of the men and women of the Gilded Age in a new light. It explores the question relevant in our own time: Who creates the image—the subject or the artist? Patrons on both sides of the Atlantic clamored to sit for the famed artist, but the final portrait was not always what they expected to see. It was, however, always a “Sargent,” a creation literally fashioned by him, with particular attention paid to fabrics, costumes, and clothing. Decide for yourself when you see the exhibition’s many celebrated portraits, including the always astounding Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau), whose daring black gown brought fame and notoriety to both artist and sitter.

“Toshiko Takaezu: Shaping Abstraction,” just opened in the central gallery on the Art of the Americas Wing’s third floor, is as beautiful as it is unexpected. Respected as a potter, a weaver, a painter, and a sculptor, artist Toshiko Takaezu (1922–2011) had a multidisciplinary approach to life, art, and identity. The exhibition features her paintings, weavings, and closed-form ceramics in a flowing, innovative presentation tracing Takaezu’s development from potter to multimedia installation artist. And recently opened in the Torf Gallery, “Strong Women in Renaissance Italy” highlights through illuminating new scholarship the presence of female creativity, power, and agency in the arts of the Renaissance.

In late September, the MFA hosted a joyful, vibrant Latinx Heritage Night. Now with the fall season in full swing, I hope you’ll visit the Museum together with family and friends at one of our upcoming community events. Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 9, recognizes and honors with community partners the heritage of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples and opens the MFA with free admission and programs for all ages. We will celebrate Diwali in November and have a Hanukkah celebration in December. Join us for evening social get-togethers: our fall Late Nites party is October 20, and on November 3, monthly First Fridays return in the Linde Wing. Please check our online calendar for details on these opportunities to enjoy the galleries, programs, and so much more; I look forward to seeing you soon here at the MFA!

Matthew Teitelbaum
Ann and Graham Gund Director

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