Spring Study: Seminars for Collectors

Please join us on May 17 for our redesigned, half-day event Spring Study: Seminars for Collectors, exclusively for members of the Ross Society.

Gifts of art and support of acquisitions are essential to our overall institutional strength and this year’s program, led by the Museum’s outstanding curators and conservators, celebrates our commitment to collecting, studying, and sharing art.

Register Today

Please call Gifts of Art at 617-369-4047 if you need assistance registering for the event.

Session 1

Connoisseur, scholar, writer, poet, and artist Wan-go H. C. Weng, age 100, has donated his exceptional collection of Chinese art to the MFA. With curator Nancy Berliner, learn about the history and the world-renowned highlights of the collection that has been in Weng’s family for six generations, and preview the upcoming exhibition.

Nancy Berliner, Wu Tung Senior Curator of Chinese Art, has been at the MFA since 2012. Previously, she was curator of Chinese Art at the Peabody Essex Museum where she spearheaded and curated the Yin Yu Tang house project. At the MFA, she has most recently curated “10,000 Miles along the Yangzi River” and “China’s 8 Brokens: Puzzles of a Treasured Past”; her book The 8 Brokens: Chinese Bapo Painting has just been released by MFA Publications. She holds AB, MA, and PhD degrees from Harvard University.

Hear from Reto Thüring and Akili Tommasino, both still in their first year at the Museum, as they discuss fresh visions and strategies for collecting contemporary art at the MFA, prioritizing diversity and relevance for all audiences.

Reto Thüring, Beal Family Chair, Department of Contemporary Art, joined the MFA in Fall 2018. Prior to his arrival, he was chair of modern, contemporary, decorative art and performing arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. At the CMA, he oversaw the rapid growth of the collection of contemporary art and worked on solo shows of Kerry James Marshall, Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, Scott Olson, Albert Oehlen, Dan Graham, Kara Walker, Julia Wachtel, Fred Wilson, and Damián Ortega, among many others.

Akili Tommasino joined the MFA as Associate Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, in Fall 2018, a decade after his internship in the Art of Europe department. Prior to his return to Boston, he was a curatorial assistant at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a Fulbright Fellow at the Centre Pompidou—Musée national d’art moderne in Paris. He is completing a PhD in History of Art and Architecture through Harvard University, where he earned his MA and BA.

Join special collections archivist Kristin Parker for a behind-the-scenes introduction to the John Singer Sargent Archive. See highlights from Sargent’s correspondence, photographs and other documents, and discuss strategies for access to this unique collection.

Kristin Parker joined the MFA in September 2018 as the first John Singer Sargent Archives and Special Collections Archivist. She previously served as collections manager and deputy director at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, and before that was the archivist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for six years, where she organized their holdings, raised funds for preservation and dissemination, and most important, became an expert in Sargent's handwriting.

Session 2

Hear from conservators Mei-An Tsu and Christine Storti about using technical imaging to detect previous restorations, authenticate works of art, reveal inscriptions, and identify lost surface patterns. Examine a range of objects, from ceramics to furniture to classical sculpture, using ultraviolet and infrared radiation imaging techniques.

Christine Storti, Associate Furniture Conservator, joined the MFA in January 2009. She completed a degree in conservation of wooden artifacts and modern materials at the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, after training as a cabinet maker in Germany. The recent focus of her research has been the methods of improving the legibility of faded writing on furniture.

C. Mei-An Tsu, is Associate Objects Conservator in the Conservation and Collections Management department. She played an active role in conserving the artworks for the Art of the Americas Wing, as well as leading several Conservation-in-Action projects over the years. She holds a MS in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum.

Join curator Anne Havinga and distinguished Cambridge photographer Barbara (“Bobbie”) Norfleet as they discuss her photography series and artistic vision. Also a photography historian, Norfleet taught for many years at Harvard and assembled a major collection of social documentary photographs for the university.

Anne Havinga joined the MFA in 1989 and is now the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography. She has curated or co-curated over 35 exhibitions at the Museum, including the current “Postwar Visions: European Photography 1945–60,” on view in the Herb Ritts Gallery.

Barbara Norfleet is the founder, director, and curator of The Photography Collection at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of many books. She has had more than 20 solo shows and her photographs are part of the permanent collection of major museums across America.

Frida Kahlo collected more than 400 devotional ex-votos—tiny paintings on tin expressing gratitude for miracles and answered prayers. With curator Layla Bermeo, explore Kahlo’s engagement with the imagery, materials, and meanings of ex-votos through a focused discussion of paintings in “Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular.”

Layla Bermeo, Kristin and Roger Servison Assistant Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, joined the MFA in Fall 2016. Prior to her arrival, she was a curatorial fellow in the American Art Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and served as a guest curator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She received a BA from Northwestern University in 2005, an MA from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art in 2009, and is currently a PhD candidate at Harvard University.

Note: Cancellations received after April 26, 2019, will be subject to a 50% cancellation fee.

For more information, please contact the Gifts of Art Program at 617-369-4047.