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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Mfa boston af.jpg
Established 1870
Location 465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Visitors over 1 million visits annually
Director Matthew Teitelbaum
Public transit access Museum of Fine Arts Handicapped/disabled access
Ruggles Handicapped/disabled access
Website www.mfa.org

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the largest museums in the United States. It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas. With more than one million visitors a year, it is the 55th most-visited art museum in the world as of 2014.

Founded in 1870, the museum moved to its current location in 1909. The museum is affiliated with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and its sister museum, the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, in Nagoya, Japan.

In 2014, The Art of the Americas Wing was recognized for its high architectural achievement by being awarded the Harleston Parker Medal, by the Boston Society of Architects.



A view of the original Museum of Fine Arts building in Copley Square.

The Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1870 and opened in 1876 with most of its collection taken from the Boston Athenæum Art Gallery. Francis Davis Millet, a local artist, was instrumental in starting the Art School affiliated with the museum, and in appointing Emil Otto Grundmann as its first director.[1] The museum was originally located in a highly ornamented brick Gothic Revival building in Copley Square designed by John Hubbard Sturgis and Charles Brigham and noted for its mass amount of architectural terracotta for an American building. It was built almost entirely of red brick and terracotta with a small amount of stone in its base. The brick was produced by the Peerless Brick Company of Philadelphia and the terracotta was imported from England.[2]


In 1907, plans were laid to build a new home for the museum on Huntington Avenue in Boston's Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood near the renowned Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Museum trustees decided to hire architect Guy Lowell to create a design for a museum so that could be built in stages as funding was obtained for each phase. Two years later, the first section of Lowell’s neoclassical design was completed. It featured a 500-foot (150 m) façade of granite and a grand rotunda. The museum moved in to the site later that year.

The second phase of construction built a wing along the The Fens to house paintings galleries. It was funded entirely by Maria Antoinette Evans Hunt, the wife of a wealthy business magnate Robert Dawson Evans, and opened in 1915. From 1916 through 1925, the noted artist John Singer Sargent painted the frescoes that adorn the rotunda and the associated colonnades. Numerous additions enlarged the building throughout the years, including the Decorative Arts wing in 1928 (again enlarged in 1968) and the Norma Jean Calderwood Garden Court and Terrace in 1997. The West Wing, designed by I. M. Pei, opened in 1981, and was renamed the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art in 2008. This wing now houses the museum's cafe, restaurant, and gift shop as well as a special exhibition space.[3]

The libraries at the Museum of Fine Arts house 320,000 items. Its main branch, the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library, named after the noted American artist, is located off-site in Horticultural Hall.[4]


Cyrus Dallin's Appeal to the Great Spirit stands outside the museum's south entrance.

In the mid-2000s, the museum launched a major effort to renovate and expand its facilities. In a seven-year fundraising campaign between 2001 and 2008 for a new wing, the endowment, and operating expenses, the museum managed to total over $500 million, in addition to acquiring over $160 million worth of art.[5] During the global financial crisis between 2007 and 2012, the museum's budget was trimmed by $1.5 million and the museum increased revenues by conducting traveling exhibitions, which included a loan exhibition sent to the for-profit Bellagio in Las Vegas in exchange for $1 million. In 2011, Moody's Investors Service calculated the museum's had over $180 million in outstanding debt. However, the agency cited growing attendance, a large endowment, and positive cash flow as reasons to believe that the museum's would become stable in the near future.

In 2011, the museum put eight paintings by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Gauguin and others on sale at Sotheby's, bringing in a total of $21.6 million, to pay for Man at His Bath by Gustave Caillebotte at a cost reported to be more than $15 million.[6]

The renovation included a new Art of the Americas Wing to feature artwork from North, South, and Central America. In 2006, the groundbreaking ceremonies took place. The wing and adjoining Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard were designed in a restrained, contemporary style by the London-based architectural firm Foster and Partners, under the directorship of Thomas T. Difraia and CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares Architects. The landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol redesigned the Huntington Avenue and Fenway entrances, gardens, access roads, and interior courtyards.

The wing opened on November 20, 2010 with free admission to the public. Mayor Thomas Menino declared it "Museum of Fine Arts Day," and more than 13,500 visitors attended the opening. The 12,000-square-foot glass-enclosed courtyard features a 42.5 feet (13.0 m) high glass sculpture, titled the Lime Green Icicle Tower, by Dale Chihuly.[7]


A gallery of European art in the museum.

The Museum of Fine Arts holds one of the most comprehensive collections in the world, and possesses materials from a wide variety of schools and cultures. The museum maintains one of the largest online databases in the world with information on over 346,000 items from its collection with digital images.

Some highlights of the collection include:





Notable people[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Natasha. "John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery". Jssgallery.org. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  2. ^ "An announcement was made..." (HATHITRUST.ORG). The Brickbuilder (Boston, MA: Rodgers & Manson) 8 (12): 237. December 1899. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Architectural History - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The William Morris Hunt Memorial Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston". Mfa.org. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  5. ^ http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/giving/11BOSTON.html
  6. ^ Judith H. Dobrzynski (March 14, 2012), "How an Acquisition Fund Burnishes Reputations". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Lime Green Icicle Tower". Museum of Fine Arts. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Announces Major Gift from Rothschild Heirs, Including Family Treasures Recovered from Austria after WWII." Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°20′21″N 71°05′39″W / 42.33917°N 71.09417°W / 42.33917; -71.09417

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Fine_Arts,_Boston — Please support Wikipedia.
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82773 videos foundNext > 


Welcome to the New MFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Take a tour of the new Art of the Americas wing with Director Malcolm Rogers as your guide. The new wing opened to the public November 20, 2010. Join now or get more information at www.mfa.org.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston - May 11, 2013

XMAS Flash Mob @ the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Download each session here! All proceeds will directly fund future Loft Sessions. https://loftsessionsmusic.bandcamp.com/track/o-holy-night-mfa-flash-mob Like us on Facebook and stay up-to-date...

A Collection of Collections: Impressionism at the MFA, Boston

In this hour-long talk, Emily Beeny, assistant curator, Paintings, Art of Europe, tells the fascinating story of how the MFA came to possess one of the world's greatest, most beloved collections...

Museum of Fine Arts Boston 1989 [Full Version]

Museum of Fine Arts 1989 [Full Version] Approximate Film Date: April 1989 This is the full, mostly un-editited video of our trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in April of 1989. It also...

Behind the Scenes: Mario Testino at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In his first major US exhibition, fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino's dazzling and provocative images give visitors an exclusive look into the world of haute couture, celebrity,...

Valentine’s Day Proposal at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

On Valentine's Day, Ira Kantor and Jen Close got engaged at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in front of their favorite MFA painting, “Painter's Honeymoon.” Congrats, Ira and Jen!

"Baby Heads" Installation at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

'Night' and 'Day' are two larger-than-life sculptures created by renowned Spanish artist Antonio Lopez Garcia. The two sculptures were installed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the spring...

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Speaks at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on MLK Day

New Boston Mayor Marty Walsh visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where he delivered remarks from an outdoor lectern and greeted visitors at the MFA's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Open...

82773 videos foundNext > 

4811 news items

New York Times (blog)

New York Times (blog)
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 09:08:42 -0700

Succeeding Malcolm Rogers, who served for 19 years, Matthew Teitelbaum will become the next director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the museum announced Thursday. Mr. Teitelbaum, currently the director and chief executive of the Art Gallery of ...

Reminder Publications

Reminder Publications
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:19:39 -0700

My family's recent Sunday morning visit to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) was my first in more than 30 years, and the breadth of the exhibits in the newly expanded galleries turned what was to be an hour-or-so stop into day of discovery and wonder.

WCVB Boston

WCVB Boston
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:03:45 -0700

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and his art continues to inspire viewers around the world. Drawing from its preeminent Japanese collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), presents ...

Architectural Digest (blog)

Architectural Digest (blog)
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:22:30 -0700

Beginning Wednesday, Leonardo's enigmatic angel will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the city's first-ever presentation of this piece. Titled “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty,” the show will include 30 drawings and manuscripts ...

Boston Globe (subscription)

Boston Globe (subscription)
Sat, 04 Apr 2015 09:09:35 -0700

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) had everything you could want from an artistic genius, in any epoch, anywhere: a masterpiece as well-known as the Mona Lisa (in the form of “Under the Wave off Kanagawa,” a.k.a. “The Great Wave”), a glint of madness and ...


Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:37:11 -0700

His scientific appreciation of form and proportion blended with spectacular artistic talent. You can get a glimpse of that from April 15 to June 14 in a new exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, titled “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty ...

Boston Herald

Boston Herald
Sat, 25 Apr 2015 20:56:15 -0700

This chilly spring weather is making it hard on buds struggling to blossom, but the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is in full flower. Welcoming back a seasonal must-see, the 39th annual “Art in Bloom” began yesterday and features 51 art-inspired floral ...


Sat, 25 Apr 2015 05:00:00 -0700

Rembrandt, “The Artist in his Studio” (ca. 1626), oil on canvas, 25 x 32 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (via wikimedia.org). Rembrandt got old and poor and sad but he never got timid, as the 70 or so paintings on the walls of Late Rembrandt ...

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