Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Springs into a “Season of Color”

New Exhibitions, Art in Bloom and an Array of Programs Highlight Vibrant Spring Calendar

BOSTON, MA (March 20, 2014)—In celebration of the exhibition, Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection (April 6–July 27, 2014), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is offering a spectrum of events to “spring into color”—featuring vibrant hues in its programs, concerts and galleries throughout the spring. The Season of Color runs from the beginning of April through the end of June, kicking off with a rainbow illumination of the MFA’s historic Huntington Avenue entrance. The season continues through Art in Bloom, the Museum’s annual festival of flowers, April School Vacation Week and a colorful First Friday in June that will help visitors gear up for Pride Week. On Saturday, June 7, the Shapiro Family Courtyard comes alive with the Museum Council's annual MFA Summer Party, an elegant sunset-inspired soiree with New York-based DJ duo AndrewAndrew. Around the city, Boston commuters can look out for a special advertising campaign coordinated with the colors of the MBTA subway lines, featuring observations such as, “Blue is the color of silence: thank you, noise-cancelling headphones.” On social media, “Huesdays” will offer colorful posts from the MFA every Tuesday starting April 8, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Fans can contribute their own posts and pictures by using the hashtag, #QuiltsAndColor.

Visitors to Quilts and Color—an exhibition that explores how color theory relates to quilt designs—will receive a color wheel to better appreciate and experience the concepts in the exhibition. On April 1, the MFA brings back To Boston With Love, an exhibition of hand-sewn flags that will be on view during the 2014 Boston Marathon. Featuring messages of hope and peace, the flags were sent to Boston last spring from quilters around the world in response to the Boston Marathon tragedy, and will be on view this year during the entire month of April. Also included in the Season of Color is a film series of Technicolor musicals as well as demonstrations of quilt making that share insight into this dynamic craft. For foodies, a colorful prix fixe menu in the New American Café paints plates with green asparagus and red tomato salad, pink salmon entrée and a high-contrast dessert of angel food cake drizzled with blackberry-lemon sauce.

For more information on programming related to the Season of Color, visit /programs/series/spring-color-mfa.


Season of Color Activities

Free with Museum admission unless otherwise noted

In the Galleries

Spotlight Talks: Seeing Color
Every Wednesday, April 2–June 25, 6–6:15 pm, 6:30–6:45 pm and 7:15–7:30 pm
Some of the most colorful works in the collection are explored in a series of color-themed Spotlight Talks. These15 minute talks with MFA staff in the galleries offer insight into how color is used across the Museum.
Supported by the Wallace Foundation.

Gallery Talk: Black and White in the Season of Color
Wednesday, April 9, 6–7 pm
In a world (and a museum) filled with color, “black and white” can make a strong statement. This talk considers the impact of monochrome in many media and moments, from John Singer Sargent’s painting of an orchestra to Kara Walker’s silhouettes, charged with racial and sexual tensions.
Made possible by The Lowell Institute.

Gallery Talk: Everything that Glitters is Gold
Sunday, April 13, 2–3 pm
Saturday, April 19, 12–1 pm
This talk examines techniques used to create Italian panel painting from the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, as well as the significance of their overall effect, including the sumptuous use of color and gold leaf.

Looking Together: Quilts and Color with the Collector
Tuesday, April 8 and 15, 1–2:30 pm (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, May 7 and 14, 10:30 am–Noon (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, May 22 and 29, 6:30–8 pm
Tickets: $50 (members); $63 (nonmembers)
Artist and Designer Gerald Roy, whose collection is on view in the exhibition, Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection, discusses color theory with visitors.


Technicolor Musicals
Wednesday, May 14-June 1, times vary
A series of brightly colored musicals celebrate cinema’s Technicolor process, a moviemaking milestone that changed films forever. Ten musicals that were enhanced by this innovative technique will be screened, including classics such as Wizard of Oz (which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year), Meet Me in St. Louis, Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain and West Side Story.


Colorful Cuisine
April–June, Saturday–Tuesday: 11:30 am–4pm, Wednesday– Friday: 11:30 am–8:00 pm
It’s said that first, we eat with our eyes. A prix fixe menu of colorful cuisine is available throughout the Season of Color in the Museum’s New American Café. Set in the dramatic Shapiro Family Courtyard, the menu arcs through a three-course rainbow including fresh, local ingredients: complementary colors combine for a delicious Local Asparagus Salad with Hearts of Palm, Confit Cherry Tomato, Chive Batons and a Spring Onion Vinaigrette; the second course brings a spectrum of orange, green, red, gold and yellow with Atlantic Salmon Al Forno with English Pea Puree, Pickled Beet and Preserved Lemon Salad withThyme Buerre Blanc; and dessert offers high-contrast Angel Food Cake with Blackberry-Lemon Sauce and Peach Compote.


Quilt Making with Anne Gallo and Susan Raban
Sunday, April 13, 12–3 pm
Wednesday, April 16, 5:30–8 pm
Drop-in artist demonstrations offer the opportunity to discover the techniques and tools necessary to create quilts and observe how different geometric shapes are selected, placed and then stitched together. Anne Gallo has a background in math while Susan Raban has an art background, and together they have developed simple methods to make beautiful quilts. As long-time educators they have traveled through Europe and the US teaching the essentials of quilting. They are founding members of the Chelmsford Quilters Guild and the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.


New Harmonies: Changing Themes in Color and Design Trends (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, April 16, 7–8 pm
Tickets: $15 (members); $18 (nonmembers)
Pantone’s color guru Leatrice Eiseman presents a highly visual program that demonstrates the strongest trends in color: where they are coming from, why they are happening and where they are headed in future. She will also show how today’s creative guidelines and palette options have replaced the rigid color rules of the past––leading to Pantone’s Color of the Year.

Sun Ra’s Centenary: Space is Still the Most Colorful Place
Sunday, May 11, 2–3:30 pm
Tickets: $15 (members); $18 (nonmembers)
Sun Ra was one of the most influential big-band leaders and experimental jazz musicians of the 20th century, creating avant-garde jazz years before its time. In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Sun Ra’s birthday (May 22, 1913) or as Ra would call it, his “arrival day,” New England Conservatory's Ken Schaphorst will lead a 10-piece ensemble performing Sun Ra's compositions and arrangements. It will be accompanied by stories and projected imagery depicting Ra’s fascination with space and ancient civilizations led by Larry Berman, Norma Jean Calderwood Senior Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art.


Color: A Primer
Tuesday, April 8–May 6, except April 22, 10:30 am–Noon
Thursday, April 10–May 8, except April 24, 7–8:30 pm
Four-session course: $80 (members), $100 (nonmembers)
Individual sessions: $25 (members), $30 (nonmembers)
This course explores the world of color through the eyes of artists, collectors, curators and musicians:

A History of Art in Color
April 8 or 10
With Edward Saywell, Chair, Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art and Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art
From the allure of gold to the purity of white, artists captivate through the evocative power of color. This session explores the history of art through the lens of extraordinary tales of color that have captured minds, souls and even changed the course of history.

Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection
April 15 or 17
With Gerald Roy, collector
Before quilts were hung in museums, American quilters used color in patterns, fabric choice and threads to create works that evoke Abstract Expressionism. In this session, collector Gerald Roy discusses how quilt makers are free to use color for color’s sake and not merely as decoration.

Think Pink
April 29 or May 1
With Michelle Finamore, Penny Vinik Curator of Fashion Arts
This session explores the history and changing significance of the color pink in fashion and visual culture from the 18th century to the present day.

Color and Music: From Salon to Harlem to Warhol
May 6 or May 8
With Bill Banfield, professor; director, Africana Studies, Music Society Center, Berklee College of Music
Guests can see the connections between music and visual art by looking at the sounds and shapes of the Impressionists, Gertrude Stein’s salon, the Harlem Renaissance, Andy Warhol’s Factory and hip-hop music.


Cogan Family Foundation Vacation Week Adventures
Tuesday–Friday, April 22–25, 10 am–4 pm (Wednesday 10 am–8 pm)
Free activities for children with the theme, A Splash of Color, explore some of the many creative ways artists have used color in their work. A wide range of fun art-making activities, story hour, family tours and more are available.

Monday April 7, 10:15–11:15 am
Toddlers can show their true colors with Playdates offering "Colors of the Rainbow"––including story time and looking activities in the galleries, followed by art making.

Quilts and Color Family Guide
Sunday, April 6–July 27, 2014
Families can discover the Quilts & Color exhibition during the Season of Color with a guide of activities for children. Available at the Sharf Visitor Center, the guide is filled with ideas for exploring the colorful quilts on display.


Memorial Day Open House
Monday, May 26, 10:00 am–4:45 pm
The MFA is celebrating a “Season of Color in the Americas” with a fun-filled day of vibrant activities the whole family will enjoy. Guests can dance along (or learn how to dance) to Latin American music in the Shapiro Family Courtyard, make art or make music, watch a classic Technicolor film and join a tour or talk in the galleries.
This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Generously supported by MFA Associates/MFA Senior Associates.

MFA First Fridays
Friday, June 6, 6–9:30 pm
Open to visitors 21+
Guests can gear up for Pride Week in Boston at the MFA’s "Season of Color" First Friday, offering fine art, music, cash bars featuring signature cocktails and delicious tapas available for purchase.

The Summer Party
Saturday, June 7, 2014, 8–11 pm
Tickets: $200; $175 advanced sale discount before April 7
The Shapiro Family Courtyard comes alive with the Museum Council's annual MFA Summer Party. Taking style cues from Art Deco, the Delano Hotel and Miami Beach, this year's event is shaping up to be an elegant sunset-inspired soiree with the New York-based DJ duo AndrewAndrew. Pre-sale for discounted Summer Party tickets are on sale now. Proceeds from the party will benefit the MFA and the Museum Council Special Exhibition Fund.

Art in Bloom

‘Tinis and Tulips Preview Party
Friday, April 25, 7 pm–9:30pm
$50 for non-members and $25 for members
Kicking off Art in Bloom is the ‘Tinis and Tulips preview party, featuring martinis in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Tickets include light bites, music by DJ Denise LaCarubba and a special scavenger hunt through the galleries.

Art in Bloom Weekend
Saturday–Monday, April 26–28, 10 am–4:45 pm
Art in Bloom, the MFA’s annual festival of fine art and flowers, has become a rite of spring in the city. Garden clubs and professional designers from across New England create colorful floral arrangements inspired by the MFA’s encyclopedic collection. This year, 51 arrangements take inspiration from across the Museum’s galleries, including the vibrant palette of Quilts and Color, the new Benin Kingdom Gallery of ancient African bronzes and Impressionist favorites on view in the Boston Loves Impressionism exhibition. The weekend includes special events including lectures and demonstrations; flower arranging classes presented by Emily Thompson, a widely acclaimed New York floral designer; and a Family Day of art making. Supporting sponsorship from Wheaton College. The media sponsor is Yankee Magazine. Additional support was provided by Fox Hill Village. 

On View

Visitors during the Season of Color are encouraged to visit Quilts & Color (April 6–July 27, 2014), which celebrates the vibrant color palette and inventive design of the acclaimed Pilgrim/Roy Quilt Collection. The exhibition features 59 distinctive quilts from the renowned collection and is the first to explore its development over five decades. Both trained artists, Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy acquired quilts with bold and eye-popping designs that echoed the work of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionist and Op Artists. To Boston With Love (April 1–April 30, 2014), on view in the Shapiro Family Courtyard, presents hundreds of hand-sewn flags created in tribute to the city in response to the 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy. Each flag delivers a message of hope and peace and is signed on the back by the artist, with his or her country. They were created by quilters in nearly every state in the US and countries in every corner of the globe, including Canada, Brazil, England, France, South Africa, Australia and Japan. In Think Pink (through May 26), visitors can explore the history and changing meanings of the color as its popularity ebbed and flowed in fashion and visual culture from the 18th century to the present day. Also through May 26, visitors can enjoy the magical color and light of the Impressionists in Boston Loves Impressionism—the Museum’s first “crowdsourced” exhibition.


Main Bookstore & Shop, Huntington Shop and Gund Gallery Exhibition Shop
Saturday–Tuesday: 10 am–4:45 pm, Wednesday-Friday: 10 am– 9:45 pm
Visitors can take home a kaleidoscope of items in the MFA’s shops throughout the “Season of Color.” Unique quilt-inspired products available at the Gund Shop during Quilts and Color include stationary, hand-made glass and jewelry. With over 100 books for adults and kids, enthusiasts can purchase the exhibition catalogue, learn more about color theory in Josef Albers’ book Interaction of Color or play around with a vibrant puzzle or game. Quilters can add a special edition MFA Quilts and Color pin to their collection, while aficionados can purchase a throw-size quilt for their home.

Find color in all 143 galleries throughout the Museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its encyclopedic collection, which includes an estimated 500,000 objects. The Museum’s collection is made up of: Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–9:45 p.m. 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 on weekdays after 3 p.m., weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 p.m. admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted 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. For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.



Amelia Kantrovitz