Join us at the next event connecting visitors to art, culture, and community and see why Boston magazine named us Best Museum of 2018! The diverse event lineup features late-night programming in partnership with local organizations, artists, and more. Guests can explore the galleries, and engage in art making. There’s something for everyone, from dancing and DJs to pop-up performances, intriguing bites, and much, much more.


French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault

Level 1, Gallery 155

Claes Oldenburg: Shelf Life

Level 1, Gallery 158

Lorraine O’Grady: Family Gained

Level 1, Gallery 158

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

Level 1, Galleries 169 and 170

Candice Breitz: Love Story

Level 2, Gallery 259

Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu

Level 2, Gallery 260

Food and Drink

Available for purchase.

Tasting Menu

8 pm–Midnight, Shapiro Family Courtyard and Sharf Visitor Center

Street food options and drinks:

  • Chicken Tikka Tacos
  • Crispy Pork Dumplings
  • Vegan Beet Carpaccio
  • Butternut Squash Caponata Crespelle
  • Tuna Poke
  • Spooky Mousse Cup

Beer Garden

8 pm–1:30 am, Level G, Calderwood Courtyard
(Rain location: Garden Cafeteria)

Taste Café

8 pm–1:30 am, Level 1

Wine, beer, soft drinks, and snacks.


Subdrift Presents

8:30–11 pm, Level 1, Gallery 168

Presented by Subcontinental Drift Boston (SubDrift), part of a national movement building South Asian creative community through month open mics for a special program of music, poetry, and dance.


11 pm–2 am, Level 1, Gallery 168

media_rins is a Boston/Internet–based collective that creates and publishes work in the fields of electronic music, new media, and performance art. We organize events in the Boston area for adventurous and contemporary artists working with hi-fi digital tools, analog electronics, and information media.

Cecilia Vicuña

9–9:40 pm, Level 1, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Chilean-born, New York–based artist Cecilia Vicuña stages an interactive, meditative performance in conjunction with the opening of “Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu.”

Choir! Choir! Choir!

10:30–11:45 pm, Level 1, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Toronto-based singing group led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman who take a nontraditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir.


11:45 pm–2 am, Level 1, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Sara Skolnick, the artist behind Riobamba, is a Lithuanian Ecuadorian DJ and producer currently based in New York.

the SOUND [of a cyclical construct]

7:30–10:30 pm, Grounds and Galleries

the SOUND is a multidisciplinary sound, sculpture, and movement installation exploring the perspectives of young adult immigrants attending the Boston International Newcomers Academy. Conceived of and produced by composer/sound artist Beau Kenyon, the SOUND is part of a series occurring in seven Boston neighborhoods from August to November 2018.


8–9 pm and 9:45–10:30 pm, Shapiro Family Courtyard

Raquita is a non-binary Jamaican-born-and-bred hybrid club music and transnational bass DJ, community organizer, and Engineer. A lover of all things bass, they pride themself on their versatile and eclectic style which has been strongly influenced by their Caribbean roots, love of Spanish culture, as well as their time spent in Mexico City and London.

Hardly Soft

9–9:45, 10:15–11 pm, and 11:15 pm–Midnight, Galleries 261, 262, and 263

An immersive, up-close-and-personal play about the Placid Purlers, a knitting group seeking calmness during complicated times. Find a knitter and listen in on their conversations—they’re not shy about being overheard! Scenes happen simultaneously and repeat every fifteen minutes, allowing you to begin anywhere, leave and return, and stick with a character… or not!

Events and Activities


9 pm–1 am, Druker 159 and 160

Get inspired by the mass-produced goods and household items hidden in Claes Oldenburg’s Shelf Life. Create miniature object sculptures to place on your own #mfabostonshelfie.

See Hear: A Night of Spoken Pastels

9–11 pm, Gallery 155

Learn fun, quick tips about writing to art with poet and literary performer Regie Gibson. Stay for a performance as Regie assembles visitors’ poetic impressions from “French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault” into a spoken word poem, performed for the first time at MFA Late Nites! Musical landscape provided by bassist Larry Kuker. Learn more about area poetry events with Mass Poetry.

Looking Back and Creating Anew: Claes Oldenburg’s Shelf Life

9:30, 10, and 10:30 pm, Gallery 158

Join curatorial research fellow Dakota DeVos for an in-depth look at Shelf Life, a recent sculptural work by Claes Oldenburg. Consider how the artist returned to motifs from various points throughout his celebrated 60-year career to push his artistic practice in an entirely new direction.


8 pm–Midnight, outside Gallery 158

Event Policies

Guests of all ages are welcome; visitors wishing to consume alcohol must be 21+. Valid ID with proof of age is required to purchase alcohol. Food and drink will be available for purchase; no outside food or beverage allowed.

All bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff. Backpacks and large bags are not permitted. All other smaller bags are strongly discouraged, and may need to be checked in the Coat Room upon entry.

The MFA has a strict no smoking policy; this includes vaporizers.

The MFA reserves the right to deny entry or to ask guests to leave at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ticket Information

All ticket sales are final. Tickets may not be refunded or exchanged.

Ticketing Policies


MFA Late Nites is made possible by Trustee Dr. Jeffrey Leiden and his wife Lisa.