Director’s Message

Dear Friends,

Start your MFA journey this summer in the Linde Family Wing with three absorbing exhibitions opening in July. Each encourages you to follow your own path, led by wonder and curiosity—to pause and truly look.

“Tiny Treasures: The Magic of Miniatures” embodies the satisfaction derived from close looking. Perhaps a holdover from our childhood fascination with toy cars and furniture or tiny figures in dioramas or stories, there is a sweet joy and playfulness in observing the smallest, most exquisite objects and images, most from the MFA’s collection, many not on view for over a decade. The exhibition’s title evokes their magical aspect, from netsuke to talismans and amulets to reliquaries–portable, intimate, treasured–a reminder that miniaturization is the distillation of larger ideas, often with great symbolic significance. As you make your way through the gallery, a giant amid these treasures, you can savor the history and high craftsmanship of miniature objects and artwork from the MFA’s collection across cultures and time.

Nearby in the Foster Gallery, the walls are covered in bold canvases and intimate works on paper by Matthew Wong (1984–2019), an inventive creator of imaginary worlds. “Matthew Wong: Realm of Appearances,” a retrospective of forty paintings, is the first time the Canadian artist’s work has been seen in Boston. It is a revelation, full of intense feeling, energetic brushwork, and constantly risk-taking in use of color. Wong referred to historical precedent often—from Van Gogh, his contemporaries, and Chinese ink painting.  Wong’s career was brief, but his work will stay with you long after your visit.

What does it mean to care for an artwork? In the Linde Family Wing, “Tender Loving Care” brings together more than 100 works from the MFA’s contemporary collection exploring how artists define, depict, and demonstrate forms of care. Care means we are not alone, care means we connect to the lives of others—through the lens of care we see artists reaching out and communicating ideas and values to live by. Many of these works have not been on view in many years or are new to the MFA, presenting visitors with more new discoveries of art and artists in a wide range of media and forms, from textile wall hangings and fiber art to mixed media installations to painting and sculpture, in an innovative display that invites thoughtful contemplation. The exhibition provides additional caring moments of reflection and respite by integrating the Museum’s great “Please Be Seated” collection of artist-created benches and chairs throughout.

Matthew Teitelbaum
Ann and Graham Gund Director

Select Past Director’s Messages