BOSTON (April 4, 2019)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is pleased to partner with The Boston Globe to publish a children’s book about Riley, the MFA’s pest-sniffing canine volunteer. Written by the Globe’s Devra First and illustrated by the Globe’s Ryan Huddle, The Adventures of Riley the Museum Dog follows Riley on a chase for Wiley, a tiny moth with a big appetite for artwork. Throughout their adventure, Riley and Wiley encounter iconic works from the Museum’s collection—from the Mummy of Nesmutaatneru (Egyptian, 760–660 BC) and Frida Kahlo’s Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) (1928) to John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark (1778) and Dale Chihuly’s Lime Green Icicle Tower (2011). The book is available in the MFA’s Signature Shop and Main Bookstore & Shop, as well as online on mfashop.org. A special celebration and book launch takes place on April 17 during April Vacation Week at the Museum, inviting visitors to watch scent-training demonstrations with Riley and his family and trainers, Nicki Luongo, Director of Protective Services, and Chris Hartzell, Investigator, Protective Services, as well as get their books signed by First and Huddle and stamped with Riley’s paw print.
“The Globe published a story and video about Riley in January 2018,” said Janice Page, Deputy Managing Editor for Arts and Newsroom Innovation at The Boston Globe, “and the book idea came about as a fresh way to keep the story going and showcase the many narrative talents of the Globe newsroom. We’re delighted that the MFA is as excited about this project as we are.”
The Adventures of Riley the Museum Dog is recommended for ages four through 10. The book debuts at the MFA’s annual April Vacation Week (April 16–19), when admission for kids is free. In addition to scent-training demonstrations with Riley (11 am and 2 pm on Wednesday, April 17), drop-in activities throughout the week include art making inspired by objects on view throughout the galleries, family art walks, and interactive storytelling performances with local children’s book authors and illustrators Jannie Ho and Gina Perry. Copies of The Adventures of Riley the Museum Dog will be available for purchase, along with Riley plush toys, pins and 100-piece puzzles.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with The Boston Globe on a delightful children’s book inspired by Riley, a beloved member of the Museum’s family,” said Katie Getchell, Chief Brand Officer and Deputy Director of the MFA. “This book is a fun way for us to introduce our collection to young readers, and we hope that it will inspire them and their parents to plan their own adventures at the MFA.”
The Adventures of Riley the Museum Dog is published by Muddy Boots, an imprint of Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield. Marrying the Globe's unique brand of category focus and expertise with our love of all things outdoors, Muddy Boots is home to backlist gems from best-selling authors as well as new work from established and emerging authors and illustrators. Titles include non-fiction for babies through pre-teens, as well as activity books and illustrated story books.
Riley, a one-and-a-half-year-old Weimaraner, joined the MFA as a volunteer in January 2018. As a working scent dog, he provides assistance with pest detection behind the scenes, supporting members of the Conservation, Protective Services and Facilities departments as they care for the Museum’s collection, building and grounds. Riley completed basic puppy training during his first year at the MFA, followed by specialized pest detection training. His work progress and life at the Museum are documented on social media with the hashtag #RileyTheMuseumDog.
About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of Ancient Greece and Rome; Art of Ancient Egypt, Nubia and the Near East; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25), while five Open Houses offer the opportunity to visit the Museum for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About The Boston Globe
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