The fourteenth annual Sharing Visions: Seminars for Collectors will take place on Friday, May 11, 2018. Whether you are a novice or an expert, we hope you will join us for an extraordinary day with fellow art lovers.

This event is reserved for members of the Ross Society, recognizing those who have made donations of art to the Museum or who have provided funds for the purchase of art. Online registration will be available on March 8.

Keynote Session

A Landmark Gift: Dutch and Flemish Paintings and the Center for Netherlandish Art

In October 2017, the Museum announced one of the single greatest gifts in its nearly 150-year-long history—a joint commitment of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie to donate 113 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, a 20,000-volume research library, and endowment funds to establish the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA). Hear from Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, in conversation with MFA staff about plans for realizing the shared vision to make the CNA a vibrant center of teaching and collaboration. Learn more about these masterpieces of Dutch and Flemish painting, opportunities for new discoveries in curatorial and conservation research, and how the CNA will keep this remarkable gift of art alive for future generations. 

Kelly Hays has served as Director, Gifts of Art, since 2013, and was formerly the Ellyn McColgan Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture. In her current role, she works on major gifts of art and related special initiatives, including, most recently, the combined gift of the Van Otterloo and Weatherbie collections. In relation to that gift, she currently serves as Interim Director of Administration for the Center for Netherlandish Art at the MFA.

Antien Knaap, Curatorial Research Fellow, Paintings, Art of Europe, received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Before arriving at the MFA in 2017, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Art Museums and a lecturer at Emmanuel College.

Rhona MacBeth was trained at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and worked for the British Royal Collection before joining the Museum in 1989. Since 2003, she has been Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Conservator of Paintings and Head of Paintings Conservation. She has carried out treatments on many important MFA paintings by Kahlo, Rembrandt, and others.

Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director, is the 11th director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In his three years at the MFA, he has re-imagined galleries and spearheaded major acquisitions to showcase and strengthen the MFA’s world-renowned collection. Prior to his appointment at the MFA, Teitelbaum served as the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

Session 1

1A. Woven Histories: Native American Textiles and the MFA

Inspired by the important textiles on view in “Collecting Stories: Native American Art,” dive deep into our holdings of clothing, blankets, and other weavings made by indigenous artists. Join a conversation with the curators of the exhibition and view additional textiles behind the scenes in the David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts, catching a glimpse of a collection that extends from the deserts of the Southwest to the woodlands of the Northeast.

Layla Bermeo, Kristin and Roger Servison Assistant Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, joined the MFA in 2016. She was a curatorial fellow in the American Art Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and served as a guest curator at Philadelphia’s African American Museum. She received a BA from Northwestern University, an MA from Williams College, and is currently a PhD candidate at Harvard University. She is co-curator, with Dennis Carr, of “Collecting Stories: Native American Art.”

Dennis Carr, Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, focuses on American, Latin American, and Native American art. He holds graduate degrees from Yale University and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. Since arriving at the MFA in 2007, Carr has worked on numerous installations and exhibitions, most recently “Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia.”

Jennifer Swope, Assistant Curator, David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts, is a graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and previously worked as a curator at Historic New England. She is co-author of the 2014 exhibition catalogue Quilts and Color: the Pilgrim/Roy Collection.

1B. Tiki: God and Man in Marquesan Art

When Captain James Cook landed on the Marquesas Islands in 1774, he encountered tiki—human images that reference ancestors and the divine. Look closely at works in the gallery and in storage, including u’u clubs, stilt steps, and an unusual fan, to explore how the human form has been adapted by Marquesan artists to create complex decorative motifs. Discover how recent research has enhanced our understanding of these artworks and brought their historical context to life.

Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch, Head of Art of Africa and Oceania and Teel Curator of African and Oceanic Art, is primarily a scholar of African art and author of The Benin Plaques: A 16th-Century Imperial Monument. Before joining the MFA in 2014, she reinstalled the African collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gunsch earned her doctorate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

1C. Tiny Treasures: Small Masterpieces from the Collection

Miniature and small objects have always been captivating and compelling to children and adults alike. Sometimes in museum collections, our tiniest treasures can be overlooked. Explore a range of exquisite small works of art, including objects for personal adornment, grooming, style symbols, commemorative keepsakes, and religious objects, and savor the craftsmanship and virtuosity of these miniature masterpieces.

Courtney Harris, Curatorial Research Fellow, Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe, joined the MFA in 2014. She holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Courtney worked at the Commission for Looted Art in Europe as a provenance researcher, and at the Evergreen Museum and Library in Baltimore.

Session 2

2A. Constructive Collaboration: Recent Discoveries in the Ancient Americas Collection

Recent investigations of two 8th-century Maya works in our collection illustrate discoveries that are made when curators and conservators share resources and expertise to examine works of art. Learn about a newly acquired shell palette carved to portray a painter’s hand, and how careful examination and analysis shed light on its function and authenticity. Examine a pictorial pottery vessel, whose painter likely used a shell palette in his or her studio, and see X-ray imaging that reveals details of the vessel-forming process to answer long-standing questions about ancient Maya ceramic traditions.

Pamela Hatchfield, Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Head of Objects Conservation, holds graduate degrees in Art History and Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Pam received the Rome Prize in 2007 and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the International Institute for Conservation, and the American Institute for Conservation.

Dorie Reents-Budet, Visiting Curator, specializes in ancient Americas ceramic studies. She has held consulting curatorial positions at the de Young Museum, the Walters Art Museum, the Dayton Art Institute, and Casa K’inich in Copán, Honduras, and faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Duke University. She is also a senior research associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

2B. (un)expected families

Drawn chiefly from our collection, “(un)expected families” looks at the ways in which photographers have represented the American family since the medium’s invention in the mid-19th century. Join the curator to discuss a single rich question: how have photographers captured, in individual images, the power and intimacy of the family, broadly defined?

Karen Haas, Lane Curator of Photographs, has worked with Trustee Saundra Lane and her collection since 1995 and assumed her current position at the MFA in 2001. She has curated a number of exhibitions, including “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott,” “Imogen Cunningham: In Focus,” “Charles Sheeler from Doylestown to Detroit,” and, most recently, “(un)expected families.”

2C. Gender Bending Fashion

In 2019, the Museum will present a major multimedia exhibition that explores a century of fashion disrupting—and redefining—conventions around gender, identity, and its expression through dress. Join the curator for a sneak peek of key objects and garments and hear about why and how they will be featured in the exhibition.

Michelle Tolini Finamore, Penny Vinik Curator of Fashion Arts, earned her PhD from Bard Graduate Center in New York. Since joining the MFA in 2012, she has curated a number of exhibitions, including “Hollywood Glamour” and “Think Pink,” and she was co-curator of “#techstyle.” She frequently lectures on 20th- and 21st-century fashion and has moderated discussions with fashion figures such as Isaac Mizrahi, Hussein Chalayan, and Fern Mallis.

Session 3

3A. Dressing Up Casanova

Opening in July, this exhibition presents the lavish visual world of mid-18th-century Europe, as seen through the eyes of Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798). Join the co-curators of the exhibition to savor the visual treasures of this period, with a focus on the art of three cities of particular importance to Casanova: Venice, Paris, and London—each brought to life in a tableau staged with period furnishings and costumed mannequins. Learn the secrets of getting dressed and undressed in the age of Casanova, and how we will bring these spectacular objects to life.

Frederick Ilchman, Chair and Mrs. Russell W. Baker Curator of Paintings, Art of Europe, is a specialist in the art of Venice. He served as the lead curator for the 2009 exhibition “Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice” and as co-curator of “Goya: Order and Disorder” in 2014. He is co-curator with Thomas Michie of the Casanova exhibition and serves as chairman of Save Venice, Inc.

Thomas Michie, Russell B. and Andrée Beauchamp Stearns Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe, joined the MFA in 2009. Previously, he was a curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. He is co-curator with Frederick Ilchman of the Casanova exhibition.

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 was curator of “Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection” in 2014, and was co-curator of “#techstyle” in 2016. She is the author of Women’s Work: Embroidery in Colonial Boston.

3B. Ahead of the Curve: Thomas Day, Master Craftsman

As a master craftsman and a free, economically successful person of color during the time of slavery, Thomas Day’s career is as rare as his work is refined. By 1850, Day owned the largest furniture-making business in North Carolina, and his work was sought by an elite clientele. Explore Day’s life and career with a curator and conservator team as we look closely at a mahogany secretary in the MFA collection. Hear about recently discovered markings, embossing, and mysterious inscriptions that suggest this impressive piece of furniture may have more stories to tell.

Caroline Cole, Ellyn McColgan Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, received a BA from Georgetown University and an MA from Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Before joining the MFA in 2013, she worked as a curatorial assistant at Rienzi, the house museum and collection of European decorative arts and paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Christine Storti, Associate Furniture Conservator, joined the MFA in 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.

3C. Where Did All These Instruments Come From?

The Museum’s world-renowned collection of musical instruments was founded 100 years ago. Join Darcy Kuronen for a lively discussion of how and why the collection was created, and hear stories about how the Museum has developed the collection during the past century. Enjoy live musical performances on a number of instruments from the collection, including several from the original group that was donated to the MFA back in 1917.

Darcy Kuronen, Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments, has worked with the MFA’s collection of musical instruments since 1986, and also curates the historical instrument collection at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A specialist in early American musical instruments, he has written and lectured widely on that subject.