Friday, May 6, 2016

We are delighted to invite you to the twelfth annual Sharing Visions: Seminars for Collectors, a daylong educational program specifically designed for collectors and connoisseurs like you.

In celebration of your foresight and generosity in expanding the MFA’s collection, the deeply talented curatorial staff throughout the Museum has prepared a series of in-depth experiences unique in their range of material and in the perspectives of each scholar. From ancient to contemporary, these intimate sessions feature objects from around the globe. Presentations focused on collecting strategies, conservation, and new exhibitions ensure there is truly something for everyone!

Whether you are a novice or an expert, I hope you will join us on May 6 for an extraordinary day with fellow art lovers!

Session 1

“Megacities Asia”

Asia’s spectacular urbanization is unprecedented, but its ever-growing megacities also face social, environmental, and logistical challenges. Explore the monumental sculptures and installations in the exhibition “Megacities Asia” and come face-to-face with many of the critical issues affecting the health of our cities, including Boston. Together we will consider how artists suggest new ways for us to think about a rapidly changing world.

Edward Saywell is Chair, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art and Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art, a position that he assumed in 2007. He is responsible for overseeing the Linde Family Wing and expanding its programming, as well as integrating the contemporary arts presented in the Museum’s galleries, film series, concerts, lectures, and courses within the broader encyclopedic scope of the MFA’s mission.

Collecting and Connoisseurship in “Pairing Picasso”

Take a closer look at Pablo Picasso’s creative process across his long and prolific career with the curator of “Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso.” Four works in the exhibition are lent by the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, which was born from the collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler. Learn more about their relationship with Picasso and their collection (and sale) of his work.

Katie Hanson, Assistant Curator of European paintings, came to the MFA in January 2015 from The Museum of Modern Art. She earned an MA at Williams College and a PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has taught at the American University of Paris and City College of New York, and published in anthologies, exhibition catalogues, and scholarly journals on artists from Jean-Honoré Fragonard to Henri Matisse.

A Collector’s Education: Bill Teel and The University Prints

The MFA owes the foundation of its collection of African and Oceanic art to Bertha and Bill Teel. Mr. Teel owned The University Prints, a company that printed study slides for art history students. Gain an understanding of how Teel’s work shaped the study of African and Oceanic art in America, and left a lasting impression on his collection.

Kathryn Gunsch joined the MFA as Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art in 2014. Working on the forthcoming book on the African collection for the MFA Highlights series has provided her with a new opportunity to get to know Mr. Teel through his archives and the fond memories of his friends. She recently reinstalled the African collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and earned her doctorate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2012.

Session 2

“Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence”: A Preview of the Exhibition

The Florentine Renaissance sculptor Luca della Robbia invented a technique for glazing terracotta sculpture characterized by pure opaque colors that remain shiny and durable over time. The MFA’s extensive collection of Della Robbia sculpture inspired the exhibition opening here in August and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in early 2017. Look closely at these works, in the context of Renaissance sculpture and ceramics, and in view of the recent surge of interest in the material.

Marietta Cambareri, Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica, Art of Europe, holds a PhD in Art History from New York University and has been at the MFA since 2001, working primarily on the European sculpture collection and, since 2010, on Judaica across Museum collections. She curated the 2007 exhibition “Donatello to Giambologna: Italian Renaissance Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” and is curator of “Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence.”

Rediscovering Ancient Nubia

Just back from modern Sudan, Rita Freed takes us on a visual tour of the ancient Nubian sites excavated there by the Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts expedition during the first half of the 20th century. She presents some of the highlights found and discusses why we have the finest collection of Nubian material in the world. View (and touch) select objects and receive an original packing box that once housed an object from those excavations.

Rita Freed was appointed the first John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Chair, Art of the Ancient World, in January 2005. She organized the 1999 exhibition “Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen,” and has led several Egyptian archeological excavations. Most recently, she curated “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC” in 2009.

Taking the Lid off 17th-Century Embroidered Boxes

Embroidered boxes were among the most complex of 17th-century schoolgirl arts. Young ladies spent hours embroidering small caskets in which they could store their personal possessions, while their parents spent lavishly on acquiring the materials. Learn more about embroidery’s role in education in the 17th century, examine several caskets in the Museum’s collection, and discover the secrets hidden within.

Pamela Parmal, Chair and David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, oversees the MFA’s encyclopedic collection of textiles and fashion. She curated “Embroidery in Colonial Boston” in 2012, “Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection” in 2014, and is co-curator of “#techstyle.” She is the author of Women’s Work: Embroidery in Colonial Boston.

Session 3

Collected or Created?: The Mamluk Minbar Door

At the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the first world’s fair held in the United States, MFA president Martin Brimmer bought a 14th-century Egyptian door for the Museum’s collection. Only a few years ago, conservators and curators discovered that this impressive piece of woodwork was in fact made out of medieval parts in 19th-century Cairo by a Frenchman. Travel the winding path along which this fascinating bricolage became a major highlight of our Islamic collection.

Laura Weinstein, Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, completed her PhD at Columbia University. Since arriving at the MFA, she has led the reinstallation of the Museum’s South and Southeast Asian collections and curated exhibitions of Persian and Indian painting, photography from the Islamic world, and medieval Qur’an manuscripts. She is the author of the exhibition catalogue Ink, Silk & Gold: Islamic Art from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and co-curator of “Megacities Asia.”

Pocket-Sized Pleasures of the 18th Century

Like beauty patches and costumed masquerades, snuffboxes figure prominently in the popular perception of the 18th century as a frivolous era. In fact, gold boxes were far more than playthings of the rich and fashionable. Such small precious objects played an important role as diplomatic gifts and were avidly collected by discerning connoisseurs. Enjoy a close look at the materials and craftsmanship of French, German, and Swiss gold boxes and other pocket-sized accessories from the Museum’s collection and examine some of the recent gifts collected in the 19th century by the Vienna branch of the Rothschild family.

Thomas Michie, Russell B. and Andrée Beauchamp Stearns Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe, joined the staff of the MFA in 2009. Previously he was Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. A graduate of Williams College, he holds MA and MPhil degrees in the History of Art from Yale University. He is the author of the recently published MFA Highlights: European Decorative Arts.

Looking North: A History of Canadian Painting

Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017. Join Taylor Poulin for a discussion of artists who have shaped the visual culture of the past century in Canada: William Berczy Sr., Cornelius Krieghoff, James Morrice, Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Jack Bush, among others. Afterward, take a behind-the-scenes tour of “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris,” curated by collector, actor, writer, and musician Steve Martin, and learn how the passion of a collector became a full-fledged exhibition presenting the works of Harris, well known in Canada, to an even greater audience.

Taylor L. Poulin, Curatorial Research Associate in Art of the Americas, is trained in modern American and European art. She holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a MA from Tufts University, both in Art History. She joined the MFA in 2013, and has worked on several exhibitions, including “Jamie Wyeth” in 2014, and “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris.”

Session 4

The Monopoli Altarpiece: Conserving a Late Byzantine Treasure

Since 1937 the MFA has owned a large late Byzantine altarpiece, originally from the Italian town of Monopoli. No other American museum possesses anything like this work. The painting’s date and attribution remain controversial, though recent consensus suggests a Cretan artist made it in the 15th century, perhaps in Venice. Learn more about this fascinating acquisition from the storeroom and its conservation treatment currently underway.

Caitlin Breare is an Assistant Conservator in the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio at the MFA. She is currently working on the research and treatment of the Monopoli Altarpiece. A native of Australia, she completed her graduate studies in Conservation and Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2014. Before joining the MFA, she was a graduate fellow at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Gordon Hanlon, Head of Furniture and Frame Conservation, joined the Museum in January 2000 after 11 years at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. After receiving his BA in Biology from the University of York, he first studied furniture making at the London College of Furniture, followed by training in the conservation of furniture and gilded surfaces at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Frederick Ilchman, a specialist in the art of Renaissance Venice, has been responsible for the Museum’s collection of Italian paintings since 2001. He is Chair and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings, Art of Europe. He served as the lead curator for the 2009 exhibition “Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice,” presented at the MFA and the Musée du Louvre, and co-curator of “Goya: Order and Disorder” in 2014.

Artistic Innovation in Stained Glass: John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany

Stained glass experienced a revival and transformation as an artistic medium during the 19th century. Gain a deeper understanding of the creative process and artistic differences between John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany through close study of the MFA’s important examples of their stained-glass work, followed by a visit to the Morse Study Room. Designs for stained glass on paper, including the Museum’s renowned collection of watercolors by John La Farge, illuminate the technical process and close communication between artist and client.

Nonie Gadsden, Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, studied at Yale University and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Prior to her arrival at the MFA in 2004, she worked at the Chipstone Foundation and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Most recently, she co-curated the 2014 exhibition “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection.”

Meghan Melvin studied at University College London and the University of Glasgow. She began her career as a decorative arts and design specialist at Christie’s King Street in London. She joined the Art of Europe Department at the MFA in 2003 and in 2011 transferred to the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Department as the Museum’s first Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Curator of Design. Her first exhibition at the MFA was “D Is for Design” (2013–14).

Artists of Color at the MFA: Ten Years of Heritage Fund Acquisitions

Since 2005, the MFA has made a focused effort to expand its holdings of art by American artists of color with support of the Heritage Fund for a Diverse Collection. Explore artworks—including paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, and other media—purchased with the Heritage Fund. Enjoy the perspectives of Robert Freeman, working artist and MFA Honorary Overseer, and Kelly Hays, former curator and current director, Gifts of Art, as they discuss how works by artists of color transform the MFA’s presentation of American art.

Kelly Hays is Director, Gifts of Art, and was the Ellyn McColgan Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, from 2001 to 2013, a position in which she worked on several acquisitions, gallery installations, and publications featuring sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and ceramics by artists of color. She was a contributing author for the MFA publication Common Wealth: Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014).

Robert Freeman has shown his work nationally for more than 20 years, and is represented in the collections of the MFA, National Center for Afro-American Artists, Boston Public Library, Brown University, and DeCordova Museum. Known for his vivid and powerful figurative paintings, he has traditionally focused on the interactions between people in his work. He has been an Overseer at the MFA since 2003.