Thursday, February 3, 2011

Art Worth Exploring

I had been meaning to check out the new Art of the Americas Wing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts since its grand opening in late November. The last time I visited the MFA was when the Napoleon exhibition was featured, which if memory serves was back in 2008.
A trip down the Huntington Avenue E-line trolley was long overdue. Additionally, I remembered that the MFA offers free admission on Wednesday nights and so off we went after work!
The Art of the Americas wing was built with a purpose to enrich how we view great works of art. The exhibition space contains four floors set up in ascending chronological order featuring pieces from the Native American time all the way to the 20th Century.
The similar layout of each floor holds a long gallery at the central core flanked by smaller galleries on each end. The new wing allows for many rooms of exploration, showcasing more than double the amount of works previously on display in the museum. The gallerys integrate all types of media from the obvious paintings and sculptures to works on paper, textiles, furniture and household decor, as well as clothing, jewelry and instruments all serving to highlight the different time periods and cultures. A few interactive demonstrations appear on flat screen computer tables and a presentation of an abstract painting by a museum representative we took in was well done. Level LG: Ancient America, Native American, 17th Century and Maritime Art.
I missed this floor! (Hangs head in shame). I didn't even realize there was a basement level. Guess that means I have to return again soon.
Level 1: 18th Century Art of the Colonial Americas and Early 19th Century Art.
The galleries elegantly incorporate wallpapers displaying the rich colors and textures of the period in history.
I seemed to be more fascinated by the 1920's martini shakers than the Colonial teapots, but that's not to say I don't appreciate what they had to offer in the 18th Century. I enjoy John Singleton Copley's work, the MFA is known for being home to the notorious Colonial American painters collection. Below: Adam hangs with Washington, followed by a portrait of the one and only Samuel Adams.Level 2: 19th Century and Early 20th Century Art.
The galleries on the second floor boast American impressionism, folk art, American Renaissance, and more. Installed with furniture, paintings, ceramics, sculpture and metalwork, all serve to create a captivating and diverse display. Below: Stain glass wall art followed by a statue overlooking Huntington Ave. Level 3: 20th Century Art through the mid-1970's.
Same idea as far as the various forms of media presented in Level 2, but with early modernist paintings, abstract works, bright colors and 20's & 30's jazz age influenced pieces. More objects to view and ponder life in such a time, more artifacts to enrich along your journey. I'm down to sip a cocktail in 1920 from these ornate martini glasses. You?That is just a very small taste of what awaits you. Fascinating as well is the Shapiro Family Courtyard, housing the New American Cafe. A sleek modern space with ceilings soaring to 63 feet, supported by steel expanses and constructed mostly of glass, the pristine walls of vast proportions look out onto a snowy walk. Floors of granite imported from Finland sparkle underfoot.
The former outside facade (at least we assumed as much) now stands as the front wall of the grand courtyard.
The New American Cafe's contemporary tables and high top counters are a focal point of the courtyard. What I'm sure is a memorable eating experience, we didn't dine here or even take a moment check out the menu. This could potentially be a fun space to eat though!Our time spent that evening lasted about two hours, but by no means did we cover all the exhibitions and galleries the MFA has to offer. We had to explore The Art Of The Ancient World where among the sarcophagi and the mummies, I discovered gold Egyptian fingernails. Visit! Take time to discover the new wing showcasing diverse art that expresses the United States and the Americas over time.
Embrace the modern expansion (designed by internationally renowned architects) of a beloved Boston landmark.
Spend a snowy evening soaking up the previously existing cultures and charms.
I already can not wait to return!

14 comments:

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Wow! These pictures are gorgeous! I have been meaning to get out there, totally need to get on that!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

This new wing looks gorgeous! I love that you write about more than just food and drinks (not that there's anything wrong with either of those) on your blog!

Elizabeth said...

Great review! Your photos are gorgeous. I have been wanting to go visit the new wing and funnily enough I still have not taken advantage of free admission nights. You've totally motivated me to go.

MelissaNibbles said...

I haven't been to the MFA in about a year. This exhibit makes me want to go this weekend!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Nice review! I've been meaning to check this out too!

Megan said...

Awesome review! And so cool that Signpost helped you remember this opportunity. That does look like a cool space for a blogger meetup. Can we go when the snow has melted? I need a better attitude about snow like you have!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I went to the new wing with my mom before the holidays and loved it! The Americas wing was really cool -- and I remember fawning over that bar accessories too!

Jennifurla said...

what a super cool spot to spend time in

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

i've been dying to get there..looks beautiful!

enjoy your time in FL! B)

Amber Blue Bird said...

thats a clever little site, I wish they had deals for hartford

Simply Life said...

oh I love that museum - great photos!

Corinne said...

Gorgeous! I love the Egyptian gold fingernails (will we see gold on your nails soon now?)and the stained glass art is BEAUTIFUL! Imagine having that in your house/apt!? So colorful

Alicia said...

I love the MFA - last time I went was during a photography exhibit - I don't think the new wing was done then!

kfenton917 said...

I bet you'd like to have those golden fingernails. I know I would!