Upcoming Exhibitions and New Galleries


Ansel Adams in Our Time December 13, 2018–February 24, 2019
Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico  January 19, 2019–May 12, 2019
Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity February 2–May 12, 2019
Radical Geometries: Bauhaus Prints, 1919–33 February 9–June 23, 2019
Postwar Visions: European Photography, 1945–60 February 9–June 23, 2019
Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular February 27–June 16, 2019
Gender Bending Fashion March 21, 2019–August 25, 2019
Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris April 7, 2019–August 4, 2019
Jackson Pollock’s Mural (working title) July 1, 2019–February 23, 2020
Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death July 13, 2019–February 23, 2020
Howard Greenberg Collection of Photographs (working title) August 11–December 14, 2019

Current Exhibitions


Claes Oldenburg: Shelf Life through December 2, 2018
Lorraine O’Grady: Family Gained through December 2, 2018
Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic through January 6, 2019
French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault through January 6, 2019
The Art of Influence: Propaganda Postcards from the Era of World Wars through January 21, 2019
Candice Breitz: Love Story through January 21, 2019
Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu through January 21, 2019
Rineke Dijkstra / Nan Goldin / Sheila Hicks through January 21, 2019
Hao Jingban: Beijing Ballroom through January 21, 2019
Collecting Stories: Native American Art through March 10, 2019
Jack Bush: Radiant Abstraction through April 21, 2019
Exhibition Lab: Sargent and Fashion through June 23, 2019
Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork through March 29, 2020

* Bolded exhibitions are on view in the Museum’s Ann and Graham Gund Gallery.

Please contact Public Relations to verify titles and dates before publication: pr@mfa.org.

Upcoming Exhibitions and New Galleries

Ansel Adams in Our Time

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery
December 13, 2018–February 24, 2019

Ansel Adams (1902–1984) is the rare artist whose works have helped to define a genre. Over the last half-century, his black-and-white photographs have become, for many viewers, visual embodiments of the sites he captured: Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, the Sierra Nevada, the American Southwest and more. These images constitute an iconic visual legacy—one that continues to inspire and provoke. This exhibition offers a new perspective on one of the best-known and most beloved American photographers by placing him into a dual conversation with his predecessors and contemporary artists. While crafting his own modernist vision, Adams followed in the footsteps of 19th-century forerunners in government survey and expedition photography such as Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Timothy O’Sullivan and Frank Jay Haynes. Today, photographers including Mark Klett, Trevor Paglen, Catherine Opie, Abelardo Morell, Victoria Sambunaris and Binh Danh are engaging anew with the sites and subjects that occupied Adams, as well as broader environmental issues such as drought and fire, mining and energy, economic booms and busts, protected places and urban sprawl. Approximately half of the nearly 200 works in the exhibition are photographs by Adams, drawn from the Lane Collection—one of the largest and most significant gifts in the MFA’s history, which made the Museum one of the major holders of the artist’s work. The photographs by 19th-century and contemporary artists are on loan from public institutions, galleries and private collectors. “Ansel Adams in Our Time” is presented with proud recognition of The Wilderness Society and the League of Conservation Voters, made possible by Scott Nathan and Laura DeBonis. Sponsored by Northern Trust. Additional support from the Robert and Jane Burke Fund for Exhibitions, and Peter and Catherine Creighton. With gratitude to the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Charitable Trust for its generous support of Photography at the MFA.

Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
January 19–May 12, 2019

Graciela Iturbide (born 1942) is one of the most influential photographers active in Latin America today, whose work goes beyond documentary photography to express an intense personal and poetic lyricism about her native Mexico. Iturbide’s photographs capture everyday life and its cultures, rituals and religions, while also raising questions about Mexican society and inequality. They tell a visual story of Mexico since the late 1970s—a country in constant transition, defined by the coexistence of the historical and modern as a result of the culture’s rich syncretism. For Iturbide, photography is a way of life and a way of seeing and understanding Mexico and its beauty, rituals, challenges and contradictions. This is the first major East Coast presentation of Iturbide’s work, featuring approximately 125 photographs that span her five-decade-long career. Organized into nine sections, the exhibition opens with early photographs, followed by three series focused on three of Mexico’s many indigenous cultures. Photographed over the course of 10 years, Juchitán captures the essential role of women in Zapotec culture. Los que viven en la arena ( Those Who Live in the Sand) concentrates on the Seri people living in the Sonoran Desert, while La Mixteca documents elaborate goat-slaughtering rituals in Oaxaca, serving as critical commentary on the exploitation of workers. Thematic sections highlight Iturbide’s explorations of various aspects and symbols of Mexican culture, including fiestas, death and mortality, and birds and their symbolism. The two most recent series on view also relate to Mexico’s cultural and artistic heritage. They feature the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens, representing plants—mainly cacti—in intensive care, and El baño de Frida ( Frida’s Bathroom), depicting personal belongings in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom at the Casa Azul, which had been locked away for 50 years after the artist’s death. Drawn primarily from Iturbide’s own collection, the exhibition also includes loans from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications.

Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity

Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery
February 2–May 12, 2019

Under Apartheid (1910–1994), South Africans of color were systematically denied access to civil rights and liberties; many of the power dynamics related to this system of racial segregation persist within the country today. This exhibition highlights eight contemporary South African artists and designers whose work asserts and celebrates their identity by deconstructing existing biases or imagining alternate futures. Organized thematically, the artworks on view speak to three concepts: how identity is historically created, the bravery of “just being” oneself, and forging new identities. Among the highlights are photographs by Zanele Muholi (born 1972), Mary Sibande (born 1982) and Nomusa Makhubu (born 1984); dresses from a five-year performance art project by Senzeni Marasela (born 1977); a large-scale sculpture by Nandipha Mntambo (born 1982); and documentation of performance pieces by Sethembile Msezane (born 1991). Recent acquisitions on view include a 20th-century Ndebele beadwork ensemble, which demonstrates women’s efforts to retain cultural identity in the face of government oppression, and knitwear designs by Laduma Ngxokolo (born 1986) that draw inspiration from traditional Xhosa beadwork as a form of celebration and reclamation.

Radical Geometries: Bauhaus Prints, 1919–33

Clementine Brown Gallery
February 9–June 23, 2019

Bauhaus, Germany’s legendary school of art, architecture and design, was founded in Weimar by architect Walter Gropius in the spring of 1919. Gropius assembled an international group of faculty members including Josef Albers (German), Lyonel Feininger (American), Wassily Kandinsky (Russian), Paul Klee (Swiss) and László Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian). The school relocated twice during its brief existence (to Dessau in 1925 and Berlin in 1932) before its closure by the National Socialists in 1933, but its aesthetic of geometric abstraction—and its stated goals of collaboration across disciplines and harmony between form and function—have had a lasting impact on the fields of architecture and industrial and graphic design. Radical Geometries marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus with a group of more than 60 works on paper—primarily prints but also including a number of drawings, photographs, and 10 of the 20 postcards designed by faculty and students for the first Bauhaus exhibition at Weimar in 1923. The objects on display are drawn primarily from the MFA’s collection, augmented with key loans from private collections. The recent gift of Kandinsky’s dynamic portfolio of 12 prints Kleine Welten (“Little Worlds”)—the artist’s magnum opus in printmaking—is shown for the first time. Radical Geometries is timed to coincide with a wide range of centennial Bauhaus exhibitions across the country and the globe, including The Bauhaus and Harvard at the Harvard Art Museums. A companion exhibition at the MFA, Postwar Visions: European Photography, 1945–60, explores the continuing influence of Bauhaus abstraction in the decades following World War II.

Postwar Visions: European Photography, 1945–60

Herb Ritts Gallery
February 9–June 23, 2019

This exhibition looks at the work of European photographers who, after hostilities ended in 1945, chose to use their cameras to express their creative impulses. Some of these artists returned to Bauhaus ideas about art making that had been interrupted by the political repression of the 1930s and six long years of war. An influential center of this new work took place in Germany, where Otto Steinert, a medical doctor turned photographer, organized a group of artists who used their camera to explore the inner self through abstract imagery. They found intriguing patterns in nature and in the built environment, and they also took inspiration from mundane visual details of daily life. The exhibitions Steinert’s group held, under the name “Subjective Photography,” brought international attention to their approach, and inspired photographers around the world to explore elements of abstraction in their work. Postwar Visions: European Photography, 1945–60 investigates this rise of mid-century creativity in an assemblage of approximately 35 works. Steinert’s Luminogramm (1952), made by the light of a flashlight, captures the playful spirit of the movement. Other images in the exhibition are meditative observations of daily life, such as rain droplets streaming down a windowpane, a bicyclist gliding down a winding road, the gentle curves of a nude. The exhibition is organized into four sections—pure abstractions, still life, daily life and industrial subjects—and also features the work of Peter Keetman, Toni Schneiders, Mario Giacomelli, Nino Migliore, Sabine Weiss, Jean-Pierre Sudre and more. The photographs are drawn primarily from the MFA’s collection, with a number of significant loans from private collections. Postwar Visions is a companion exhibition to Radical Geometries: Bauhaus Prints, 1919–33, which explores abstraction in European graphic art during the interwar period.

Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular

Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries
February 27–June 16, 2019

Like many artists in Mexico City’s vibrant intellectual circles, Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) avidly collected traditional Mexican folk art—arte popular—as a celebration of indigenous and mestizo cultures. She drew inspiration from these objects, seizing on their political significance after the Mexican Revolution and incorporating their visual and material qualities into her now-iconic paintings. Following the recent acquisition of Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) (1928), this is the MFA’s first exhibition on Kahlo. It tightly focuses on her lasting engagement with arte popular, exploring how her passion for objects such as decorated ceramics, embroidered textiles, papier-mâché effigies, and devotional retablo paintings shaped her own artistic practice. A selection of Kahlo’s paintings—including important loans from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin—is brought together with representative examples of arte popular. Bringing fresh attention to Kahlo as an ambitious, ever-evolving painter, this exhibition also opens broader discussions about the influences of anonymous folk artists on famed modern painters.

Gender Bending Fashion

Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art (multiple galleries)
March 21–August 25, 2019

From the runways to the streets, designers and wearers today are upending traditional ideas about men’s and women’s clothing. But these trends in American and European fashion are not new, and can be traced back to the early 20th century. This exhibition looks across more than 100 years of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion that has challenged rigid, binary definitions of gendered dress. It features more than 60 boundary-pushing designs, presenting the work of groundbreaking contemporary designers—including Rad Hourani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Palomo, Rei Kawakubo and Ikiré Jones—in the context of historical trends like the garçonne look of the 1920s and the peacock revolution of the 1960s. Featuring pieces worn by actors, musicians and influencers, including Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Young Thug, the multimedia presentation also incorporates paintings, photographs, music and video. The works in the exhibition are drawn from the MFA’s collection as well as loans from museums, archives, private collections and fashion houses. Gender Bending Fashion examines a rich history of fashion disrupting, blurring, and redefining conventions and expectations around the relationship between gender and clothing. At the same time, the garments on view can speak more broadly to societal shifts across the past century—including changing gender roles, increasing visibility of LGBTQIA communities, and the rise of social media as a powerful tool for self-affirmation. In the galleries, individual narratives of designers and wearers emerge, touching on issues of gender identity and expression, sexuality, race, class, pop culture, activism, social justice and more. These topics are further explored through the perspectives of local individuals, whose experiences are documented in a digital interactive—a public engagement project that reflects and expands on the themes of the exhibition. “Gender Bending Fashion” is generously supported by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, the Fashion Council, and The Coby Foundation. Additional support provided by the Museum Council Special Exhibition Fund. Media sponsor is Boston magazine.

Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris

Ann and Graham Gund Gallery
April 7–August 4, 2019

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) captured the spectacle of modern Paris in evocative posters, prints and paintings. This exhibition of more than 200 works explores his extraordinary attention to performance—particularly the stars and entertainments of Montmartre, the bohemian center of Parisian nightlife. Using bold colors and radical compositions, Toulouse-Lautrec depicted the defining gestures, costumes and expressions of the celebrities of the day, many of whom were his personal friends. His images of performers—including cabaret stars Yvette Guilbert and Aristide Bruant, dancers Jane Avril and Loïe Fuller, and actress Marcelle Lender—contributed to their fame, distributed through prints and posters to an eager audience. The exhibition examines how Toulouse-Lautrec pushed his art in new directions to portray the celebrity culture of his time—equally fascinated, much like today, with the performers’ personal lives as with the roles they played. Thematic sections also highlight the changing social and artistic landscapes of 19th-century Paris and the contemporary importance of prints and posters. The display incorporates works by Toulouse-Lautrec’s contemporaries Edgar Degas, Honoré Daumier, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and others—presenting him in the context of his heroes, peers and followers. Organized by the MFA in partnership with the Boston Public Library, the exhibition draws on both institutions’ rich holdings of works by the artist and is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications.

Jackson Pollock’s Mural (working title)

Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery
July 1, 2019—February, 23, 2020

Stretching nearly 20 feet wide by eight feet high, Mural (1943) by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was a breakthrough for the artist, representing a pivotal moment in his career and style—revealing, on a monumental scale, the artist pushing toward a new, expressive visual language. Originally commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her Manhattan townhouse, Pollock’s largest painting is recognized as one of the seminal achievements of his career. He described the frenzy of brushstrokes as akin to “a stampede… [of] every animal in the American West, cows and horses and antelopes and buffaloes. Everything is charging across that goddamn surface.” At the MFA, Mural will be installed with other works by Pollock from the Museum’s collection, including Flight of Man (about 1939), Troubled Queen (1945) and Number 10 (1949). Looking at the key role that Mural plays in the story of Pollock’s career, the exhibition will also explore some of the conditions and influences behind its creation. By examining what it takes to make an artistic breakthrough, the exhibition demystifies the creative process—looking at the artist’s personal experience and artistic output in the context of his peers, as well as the major ideas of his time. The MFA is one of the final stops on the painting’s international tour before returning to the University of Iowa Art Museum, which received the work as a gift from Guggenheim in 1951.

Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
July 13, 2019–February 23, 2020

One of Boston’s most compelling artists, Hyman Bloom (1913-2009) combined the physical and the spiritual in his paintings of human corpses, anatomical studies and archeological excavations made during the 1940s and 1950s. This exhibition of more than 40 paintings and drawings from public and private collections—including the Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Addison Gallery of American Art—explores the artist’s career as well as his constant interest in the body and the meaning of “still life.” These gripping and beautiful paintings are characterized by Bloom’s thick application of paint in jewel-like tones and his uncompromising observation of the lifeless human form, both as mortal flesh and as an incubator for new life. By their very nature, these challenging subjects invite consideration of the life, death and rebirth of Bloom’s artistic reputation, as well as the growing divide between figuration and abstraction at this defining moment of American art. Bloom’s Judaism, his deep interest in eastern religions, and his belief in reincarnation and regeneration add depth to the study of these paintings, which remain little known to many.

Howard Greenberg Collection of Photographs (working title)

Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery
August 11–December 14, 2019

Presenting more than 100 highlights from the MFA’s recent acquisition of the Howard Greenberg Collection of Photographs, this exhibition celebrates photography as an art form as well as a social, cultural and political force. The featured works showcase the breadth of the collection, which encompasses iconic European photographs from the 1920s and 1930s and a range of socially conscious works: powerful visual testimonies of Depression-era America, politically engaged street photography, exceptional examples of wartime photojournalism, and compelling depictions of African American life from the 1930s through the Civil Rights movement. Photographers represented in the exhibition include Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Consuelo Kanaga, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Edward Steichen and Roman Vishniac, among others. In addition to exploring the historical importance of the works on view, the exhibition also highlights the rare nature of the prints in the collection—in many cases, the earliest or first print ever made of the image, the only print ever made, or the best existing example. An accompanying illustrated catalogue, produced by MFA Publications, includes illuminating essays by the curators and an interview with Greenberg.

Current Exhibitions

Claes Oldenburg: Shelf Life

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
through December 2, 2018

An exploration of how ideas regarding artistic process, product and practice resonate across time, this exhibition juxtaposes contemporary sculpture by Claes Oldenburg (born 1929) with a selection of 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings from the MFA’s collection, recently enhanced with promised gifts from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie. Oldenburg’s Shelf Life (2017) is a set of 15 mixed-media sculptures, each comprising a custom-made shelf upon which the artist has arranged a display of miniature objects that reference his most iconic works—many of them outsized sculptures or large-scale public art installations created over the past six decades. Each intimate vignette of objects in Shelf Life was carefully choreographed by Oldenburg, much in the way that the objects and foodstuffs in Dutch still lifes appear haphazardly composed but are, in actuality, meticulously arranged. The installation features a group of monochromatic “breakfast pieces” by Pieter Claesz. (1597–1660), in which the same items appear again and again, organized differently from composition to composition. This use of repetition is echoed in Shelf Life, in which Oldenburg refers to motifs that have surfaced in his practice over the course of years, varying in material and scale. Also included are vanitas still lifes, including one by Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts (active in 1659–1675), filled with symbols of the transience of human life. Exemplifying the concept of ars longa, vita brevis (“art is long, life is short”), such a painting also resonates with Shelf Life, a retrospective project from a late stage in Oldenburg’s career—in his words, “a time to decide what one keeps.”

Lorraine O’Grady: Family Gained

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery
through December 2, 2018

When the Boston-born, New York-based artist Lorraine O’Grady (born 1934) visited Egypt in her 20s, two years after the unexpected death of her sister, she found herself surrounded for the first time by people who looked like her. While walking the streets of Cairo, the loss of her only sibling, Devonia, became confounded with the image of “a larger family gained.” Upon returning to the U.S., O’Grady began painstaking research on ancient Egypt, particularly the Amarna period of Nefertiti and Akhenaton, finding narrative and visual resemblances between their family and her own. This exhibition celebrates the recent acquisition of Miscegenated Family Album (1980/1994)—the first work by O’Grady to enter the MFA’s collection—consisting of 16 diptychs of color photographs that compare Devonia’s family with that of Nefertiti. The title of this major installation reclaims the pejorative term “miscegenation,” which was used in the context of the post-Civil War laws that made interracial marriage illegal until 1967. In this strongly feminist “novel in space,” as the artist describes it, O’Grady attempts to resolve a troubled relationship with her older sister by inserting their story into that of Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnedjmet. Paired images form visual “chapters” on topics such as motherhood, ceremonial occasions, husbands and aging. Also on view for the first time are the only remaining photographs that document Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline, the 1980 performance that led to Miscegenated Family Album. Lorraine O’Grady: Family Gained represents an important moment of exhibiting the photographs in the city where O’Grady grew up in a family of Jamaican immigrants. Installed at the MFA, which contains one of the world’s greatest collections of ancient Egyptian art, the work reflects O’Grady’s view of ancient Egypt as a “bridge” country—the cultural and racial amalgamation of Africa and the Middle East, which flourished only after its southern half conquered and united with its northern half in 3000 B.C. Both families featured in the photographs—one ancient and royal, the other modern and descended from slaves—are products of historic forces of displacement and hybridization.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic

Lois B. and Michael K. Torf Gallery
through January 6, 2019

The beloved teddy bear at the center of Winnie-the-Pooh, first published in 1926 and translated into more than 50 languages, is one of the most famous children’s book characters of all time. This exhibition traces the history and universal appeal of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh stories written by A. A. Milne (1882–1956) and illustrated by E. H. Shepard (1879–1976) through nearly 200 works drawn from the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the Walt Disney Company, Egmont Publishing, the Shepard Trust and the University of Surrey. Original drawings, proofs and early editions, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion take visitors on a journey exploring how the stories of Pooh and his friends Eeyore, Kanga and Roo, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Christopher Robin have stood the test of time and continue to resonate with families around the world. Exhibition organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” is sponsored by Hood Milk. Additional support provided by the Patricia B. Jacoby Exhibition Fund and the MFA Associates / MFA Senior Associates Exhibition Endowment Fund.

French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault

Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery
through January 6, 2019

Fragile and light-sensitive, pastels can only infrequently be displayed, typically for just a few months per decade. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see nearly 40 masterworks by 10 avant-garde artists who reinvigorated the challenging medium in the 19th century, from depictions of rural life by Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) to portrayals of ballerinas by Edgar Degas (1834–1917). Drawn primarily from the MFA’s holdings and supplemented by key loans from a private collection, the exhibition is organized thematically, showcasing artists’ interests in capturing the ephemeral—whether manifested in fleeting expressions of the face, the movement of fabric or atmospheric effects—and finding beauty in the mundane. New and bold colors, made possible by the advent of synthetic dyes, encouraged experimentation with pastel in the mid-19th century, and Millet and Degas were the leading innovators. In addition to exploring their techniques and artistic processes, the exhibition also highlights works by their contemporaries: Claude Monet (1840–1926), Mary Cassatt (1844–1926), Edouard Manet (1832–1883), Camille Pissarro (1830–1903), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Johan Frederik Thaulow (1847–1906), Odilon Redon (1840–1916) and Léon-Augustin Lhermitte (1844–1925). Supported by the Robert Lehman Foundation and Davis and Carol Noble.

The Art of Influence: Propaganda Postcards from the Era of World Wars

Herb Ritts Gallery and Clementine Brown Gallery
through January 21, 2019

Drawn from the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive, this exhibition presents approximately 150 postcards from the 1920s through the end of World War II, a time of conflict and upheaval on a global scale. With pithy slogans and bold colors, striking graphics and biting caricatures, postcards from the first half of the 20th century conveyed messages that were easily understood and remembered. This is art with an agenda, meant to justify war, lionize leaders, demonize the enemy or underscore the need for citizens to make sacrifices for the cause. The Art of Influence highlights postcards as both valuable historical documents and masterworks of graphic design. Featuring several hundred postcards produced in Europe, the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Japan, the exhibition explores a range of themes connected to early-20th-century propaganda, including leaders, heroes, villains, abstractions, fake news and mockery. Whether produced by government propaganda bureaus, opportunistic publishers, aid organizations or resistance movements, postcards were designed to build and maintain public support as the world hurtled from one crisis to the next. Additionally, the exhibition features selected posters and film clips that demonstrate the potency of propaganda across a wide range of media. The same techniques and themes were in play no matter the politics of the regime. The Art of Influence invites visitors to consider how politics and propaganda are intertwined, both in the context of the first half of the 20th century and today.

Candice Breitz: Love Story

Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria
through January 21, 2019

Making its U.S. debut at the MFA, Love Story (2016) by Candice Breitz (born 1972) is a seven-channel video installation that draws attention to the global refugee crisis through the power of celebrity. Breitz, a South African artist based in Berlin, conducted interviews with six individuals who fled their countries in response to oppressive conditions: a transgender hijra from India, a gay academic from Venezuela, a swimmer from Syria, an atheist from Somalia, a former child soldier from Angola, and the victim of sexual violence from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Visitors first encounter these stories on a large screen performed not by the refugees themselves, but by American actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore. In a second space, Breitz’s interview footage of the refugees appears on six monitors, with each of them recounting his or her own experience of migration—often filled with grueling details. Together, the varied approaches to presenting the same narratives raise questions about how we consume and process tragedy—as well as show empathy—depending on the protagonist.

Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu

John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Gallery
through January 21, 2019

For millennia, ancient peoples of the Andes created quipus—complex record-keeping devices, made of knotted cords, that served as an essential medium for reading and writing, registering and remembering. New York-based Chilean artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña (born 1948) has devoted a significant part of her artistic practice to studying, interpreting and reactivating quipus, which were banned by the Spanish during their colonization of South America. Drawing on her indigenous heritage, Vicuña channels this ancient, sensorial mode of communication into immersive installations and participatory performances. This exhibition pairs five ancient quipus on loan from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University with a newly commissioned, site-specific installation by Vicuña that combines monumental strands of knotted wool with a four-channel video projection. Together, these quipus of the past and present explore the nature of language and memory, the resilience of native people in the face of colonial repression, and Vicuña’s own experiences living in exile from her native Chile. The exhibition, organized by the MFA and the Brooklyn Museum, is accompanied by participatory performances by the artist, which will incorporate poetry and song. Generously supported by the Museum Council Artist in Residency Program Fund.

Rineke Dijkstra / Nan Goldin / Sheila Hicks

Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art (multiple galleries)
through January 21, 2019

Three single-artist galleries in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art highlight the work of Rineke Dijkstra (Dutch, born 1959), Nan Goldin (American, born 1953) and Sheila Hicks (American, born 1934). Dijkstra is known for her intimate photographs that capture subjects in moments of change and transition. The presentation in the Ives Family Gallery brings together seven full-length portraits from the Park series—for which Dijkstra photographed children in major urban parks around the globe—in dialogue with the captivating video portrait Marianna (The Fairy Doll) (2014). The installation in the Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Gallery draws on the MFA’s collection of photographs by Goldin, who documents and celebrates the lives of many different people through intimate and direct portraits. The works on view span a range of years and places, including the 1970s in Boston, where Goldin first emerged as an artist, and the 1980s in New York City, where she immersed herself in urban subcultures. The Jeanne and Stokley Towles Gallery displays two works by Hicks, who throughout her six-decade career has explored the possibilities of textiles as an art form. Kneeling Stones (about 1990) and Bamian (1968), both from the MFA’s collection, illuminate the artist’s use of scale and color to create installations that are intimate and immense at the same time.

Hao Jingban: Beijing Ballroom

Lizbeth and George Krupp Gallery
through January 21, 2019

Since 2012, Hao Jingban (Chinese, born 1985) has been conducting extensive research and filming for her Beijing Ballroom project. In the two videos on view—An Afternoon Ball (2013) and Off Takes (2016)—Hao traces the present ballroom tradition in Beijing to the two waves of ballroom dancing in the early 1950s and the post-Cultural Revolution era in the late 1970s. An Afternoon Ball presents individual and collective portraits of an otherwise secluded world, where social constrictions and romantic notions intertwine. At the same time, the carefully composed footage frames the choreographed ritual of contemporary ballroom dancing as a set of abstract spatial relations, both visual and psychological. Off Takes, Hao’s most recent work from the Beijing Ballroom project, is based on previously discarded footage. By revisiting and reorganizing the material, Hao creates a narrative that shifts between nostalgic meditations of the past and critical analysis of the present, always considering the distance between herself and the subjects of her work.

Collecting Stories: Native American Art

Bernard and Barbara Stern Shapiro Gallery
through March 10, 2019

The MFA opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, in the midst of a watershed moment in U.S. history. While some Americans touted progress and industrialization at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, others struggled through the ongoing hardships of Reconstruction and the Indian Wars. During this formative period, the MFA became one of the first encyclopedic art museums to collect Native American art, representing both ancient civilizations and contemporary cultures. The exhibition examines this early collection from different perspectives, exploring stories of the communities of Native artists who created pottery, textiles and beadwork, as well as the MFA founders who collected such objects during their travels to the Great Plains and Southwest. Highlights include an early Navajo (Diné) wearing blanket (1840–60), a masterpiece given to the Museum by Denman Waldo Ross; a Plains roach, or headpiece (about 1880), given by Reverend Herbert Probert; and important Zuni pottery (1810–90) given by General Charles Greely Loring. A key centerpiece is the recently acquired “Progress Vase” (about 1875), made for the Centennial Exposition by the Taunton, Massachusetts silver company Reed and Barton. Featuring a dramatic depiction of the “Discovery of America” by Christopher Columbus, flanked by stereotyped Native American figures representing the “savage” and classicized figures representing the “civilized,” the object tells a mythic American origin story that is challenged by the works of Native American artists and their place in the foundational collection of the MFA. This is the first of three sequential exhibitions using works from the MFA’s collection to address critical themes in American art and the formation of a modern American identity. Generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Jack Bush: Radiant Abstraction

Edward H. Linde Gallery
through April 21, 2019

With lush, deep colors and a whimsical playfulness, Jack Bush (1909–1977) endeavored to capture what he called the “essence” and “feeling” of what he was experiencing or observing—such as a beautiful flower or a piece of music. This exhibition features three large-scale canvases—two of them recent gifts to the Museum—that span 10 years of Bush’s career, from 1964 to 1974, and display the range of his later style. A onetime member of Painters Eleven, an influential group of Canadian artists founded in 1954 that worked to promote abstract art, Bush had by the 1960s established himself as one of Canada’s leading contemporary artists. Inspired by modern master Henri Matisse and American Color Field painters like Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis, he intended for his luminous abstractions to evoke the emotional experience of pure, joyful beauty. Shown together, the three paintings on view illustrate the artist’s development over the last decade of his life, and with their abstracted forms and colors, express the joy that Bush sought to share with his viewers. Supported by the Trust Family Contemporary Exhibition Fund.

Exhibition Lab: Sargent and Fashion

Edward and Nancy Roberts Family Gallery
through June 23, 2019

As MFA curators prepare to mount the major exhibition Sargent and Fashion in 2021–2022, the Museum is offering a behind-the-scenes look at the process of formulating such a project—and asking for the public’s opinions. The Exhibition Lab considers a variety of questions that must be addressed for the future exhibition, co-organized with Tate Britain, which will unite the finest portraits by John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) with representative clothes of the period. Using objects from the MFA’s collection, the Exhibition Lab offers visitors insight into curatorial decision-making about content, design and interpretation. The installation features the Museum’s Mrs. Charles E. Inches (Louise Pomeroy) (1887), displayed for the first time with the red velvet evening gown, later much altered, that she wore for her portrait. Other garments and paintings pose questions about the relationship between dress and representation. As they examine the works on view, visitors are invited to help consider options for display and in-gallery experiences by responding to questions and participating in pop-up focus groups. Supported by the Eugenie Prendergast Memorial Fund.

Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork

Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery
through March 29, 2020

In the early 20th century, Boston boasted one of the most active and influential jewelry-making and metalworking communities in the nation. This is the first exhibition exclusively dedicated to the exemplary works of this vibrant and interwoven group of craftspeople—many of them women, who were offered unprecedented opportunities in education, training and patronage. Sharing a belief in the ideals of the international Arts and Crafts philosophy, the tight-knit community favored an aesthetic noted for uniting design and handcraftsmanship as well as for its use of color and precious materials. The exhibition features more than 70 works by 14 artists, including jewelry, tableware, decorative accessories and design drawings. Shown together, as they would have been at the time of their creation, the objects invite visitors to explore the philosophy and artistry of the Arts and Crafts movement in Boston, as well as the stories of their makers and owners. Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork is accompanied by a complementary installation in the MFA’s Art of the Americas Wing and an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications. Presented with support from the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation, Inc. / Susan B. Kaplan, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf, and Dyann and Peter Wirth.