Soon after the MFA opened in 1870, leading Bostonians donated gifts of art that formed the foundation of the Museum’s encyclopedic collection. Over the years, distinguished supporters contributed gifts to the Museum’s growing collection, including the iconic works represented in the images above. These donors were visionaries as both great collectors and generous philanthropists.

Their tradition continues with you. Today, by giving a work of art, you ensure that it will be cared for and appreciated by visitors and scholars from near and far. Gifts of art and funds to purchase art allow the Museum to continue to build and enhance a world-renowned collection—enriching our understanding of the past and revealing the unfolding story of the present.

Learn more about making a donation today. Donating art or funds to purchase art makes you eligible for membership in the Denman Waldo Ross Society.

For more information on making a gift of art, please contact the Gifts of Art program at 617-369-4047 or

Kelly Hays
Director, Gifts of Art

Alex Irving
Development Officer, Gifts of Art

Cassie Findlay
Development Associate, Gifts of Art