Under Construction

30 10 2008

I spent a little time this afternoon at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, which has a large expansion project underway. After an interesting gallery visit this morning, I decided to focus on 19th c American paintings. Because of the construction, I determined at one point that you simply can’t get there from here. I did finally find my way there, though I felt like a guest trying to find the powder room in the Winston mansion. “There” consisted of a fantastic mish-mash of paintings and objects – a Jackson Pollock painting hanging above a Sam Maloof armchair, across from Art Nouveaux decorative items, which were next to a couple of Edward Hopper paintings and just around the corner from a room full Winslow Homer paintings and drawings. It was like dropping in on a very high end jumble sale, only nothing was priced.

Once I was over the confusion, I was just plain thrilled. All sense of order went out the window with construction, so all the cool stuff was just sort of sitting around. It was the same with the 17c Dutch paintings. I was eyeball to eyeball with a whole row of Rembrandt portraits that lurched unexpectedly into a row of big, windy seascapes done in large brushstrokes, with a hilarious Jan Steen party scene thrown in just for the fun of it.

So, the MFA appears to have been stirred with a large stick, but what fun!




3 responses

31 10 2008

This is just a fine, fine post. You’ve nailed the current state of the MFA beautifully.

1 11 2008

Egghead, that sounds like a perfectly wonderful day.

I’d be interested to hear what you think of Maloof (finished to within an inch of its life) v. Nakashima (earthier and without the gleam).

2 11 2008

Very cool! We had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago at the Chicago Art Institute. They should do that more often.

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