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Boston Museum of Fine Arts

09 Apr

The rumours are true.

Policemen do like donuts

…at least in Boston.

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Yes, another huge day in Boston.

The plan for the morning was

to visit Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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We planned to take a Highlights Tour.

We thoroughly enjoyed gallery tours.

I never imagined Art Gallery tours could be so interesting.

(I’m going to be checking our nearest galleries to see if they too offer tours.)

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Check out the giant baby heads out the front of the gallery.

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There are two of them, titled “Night and Day”.

They were modeled after the artist’s second grandchild, Carmen,

when she was a few months old.

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This is baby Carmen during the “Day”.

And you can imagine what baby Carmen’s “Night” head looks like.

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I was completely impressed by the architecture

and decor inside the art gallery.

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You have to pick your jaw up off the floor as you walk in.

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The US galleries have completely ruined

the old Brisbane Galleries for me.

They can never compare.

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There were so many beautiful things

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wherever you looked.

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The homeschoolers who live in this city

are so incredibly lucky.

I hope they realise it.

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Imagine being able to take excursions,

any time you wanted,

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to see these amazing things.

I am jealous with a capital J.

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Our tour through the gallery was excellent.

We saw a little of everything

– from Asian collections,

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to Renaissance pieces

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and,

to hubby’s horror delight,

modern artworks as well.

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This installation is made from Styrofoam cups.

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Our guide tried to explain how modern art differs from less contemporary art.

She said that it doesn’t attempt to imitate the world in a realistic way,

but rather reflect experiences and elements of the world

and provoke differing responses to these.

I must agree, to some degree.

Modern Art does make me wonder,

“What on earth were they thinking?!”

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It is definitely less about skill and more about creativity.

I’m not sure that is a good thing.

Brace yourself for this “creative” title

– “Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red”.

Yep, it’s certainly evoking a response.

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There were some modern pieces that I quite liked.

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This is

‘Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism’.

I had no interest in the meaning

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but was drawn to the aesthetics of the installation.

See how the reflections of the pretty glass bottles

(which are gorgeous in and of themselves)

are infinitely repeating.

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We also saw an Andy Warhol artwork,

but I was not drawn to it at all.

The red colour screams danger or death

so I wasn’t too surprised to hear that

the piece was called “Red Disaster”.

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It’s suppose to evoke thoughts

about the desensitising effect of media

– seeing the electric chair image repeatedly.

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For me the red and darkness are the focus

not the actual image.

Perhaps that is a degree of desensitisation.

See how these modern artworks can evoke discussions.

For this reason I don’t mind a bit of Modern Art.

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But if I truly want to appreciate art and skill,

I need to leave the world of contemporary art

and enter the world of real art.

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The likes of

Gauguin,

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Van Gogh,

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and Degas

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are the true artists in my eyes.

I could have easily spent all afternoon in the Impressionist Gallery.

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But the tour was a ‘highlights’ tour

so we had to move on.

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Check out this bust of Prince Ankhhaf.

This less-than-glamorous bust

is the centrepiece of a very big tug-o-war

between the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Egyptian government.

A previous Egyptian Government gave the bust to the Museum as a gift

(before they realised its significance)

and now the current officials want it back.

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One of the many reasons the bust is so highly desirable and unique

is that it is unlike the stylised, ‘perfect’ statues from that period.

The bust of Prince Ankhhaf is a realistic depiction of the prince,

wrinkles and all.

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What would have been wonderful to see in action

was the restoration room.

Sadly, it was Presidents’ Day

and, hence a public holiday,

so there were no workers in the restoration room.

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But there was plenty of other things to see.

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This is a painting of Boston Common.

This painting is interesting because it depicts

the contrast between the hustle and bustle of ‘modern’ life

(the buildings on the left were all new and you can see the trolley cars jamming the streets)

and the quiet calm of the Common (and the past) on the right.

This image is still relevant today.

The world surrounding the Boston Common is distinctly ‘modern’,

while the Common is still an oasis of calm and the past.

I also find it interesting that it is the children in the painting who are drawn to the calm.

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“The Fog Warning” by Winslow Homer

was one of the guide’s favourite paintings.

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It’s probably not a picture that I would have stopped for

if our guide hadn’t drawn our attention to it.

But, after having looked at it for a while,

I began to truly appreciate it.

This artist draws you into his scene and makes you feel just how he wants.

Alone, small and striving against something much bigger.

It reminds me of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”

And just look at that water and those waves.

They look so realistic.

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And finally, our guide took us to see

“The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit”.

John Singer Sargent was the artist

and he was a friend of the girls’ parents.

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It’s a very clever portrait of the girls.

Little Miss four on the floor

(Julia was her name)

is curious and sweet

and sits happily with her doll watching the artist.

Mary Louisa is eight and stands obediently to the side,

seemingly happy to pose as she’s told.

Then there is Jane, who is twelve,

 and still somewhat obedient and curious

but choosing to stand with solidarity beside her older sister.

Finally, there is Florence, who is fourteen,

and standing just on the edge of the light (and innocence),

clearly too mature to be posing for silly paintings.

There is absolutely nothing two dimensional about a great painting.

Oh and I love how the vases are mirrored.

The real vases instantly draw you towards the painted vases.

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I wouldn’t have pick myself to be an art lover

but I really do enjoy time at the art gallery,

particularly with a guide who helps open up the world of art.

But our morning visit was over

and we had other Boston sights to see.

Oh and plenty more snowballs to throw.

Time in the art gallery did little to improve our maturity.

🙂

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One response to “Boston Museum of Fine Arts

  1. Jen

    April 9, 2016 at 9:02 am

    What an amazing place!!

     

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