A selection of striking paintings by Shelley Reed, recipient of the 2005 Maud Morgan prize, is on view in the Museum’s Lower Rotunda through Dec 11. The works displayed include nine paintings created in 2005.

Reed’s haunting black-and-white paintings are inspired by seventeenth-century artwork. She selects dramatic images that are compelling and speak to issues that are politically and socially relevant today. Reed’s paintings in this year’s Maud Morgan installation include themes of humanity and civilization in contrast with the wild and untamed. Animals acting out human traits suggest aggression, environmental awareness, and natural instinct—significant issues in both the 1600s and today.

The prize, given by the MFA to a Massachusetts woman artist in mid-career, celebrates the spirit of adventure and independence embodied by noted New England artist Maud Morgan (1903-1999). As the recipient of the Maud Morgan prize, Reed will receive $5,000 for the purchase of one of her paintings to be added to the Museum’s contemporary art collection.