On a quick trip through three of America’s big cities, I had to hit an art museum in each one. In Chicago it was the Art Institute, in New York I only had time for MoMA, and in Boston I soaked up everything I could at the Museum of Fine Arts.
I had a single afternoon to take in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, not enough time to experience all of what any good art museum has to offer, but I needed to make it work. I hurried off of the Green Line at the Museum of Fine Arts Station (aptly named) and only hesitated briefly at Cerberus the three headed security dog. As I walked past the sculpture in the foyer, I couldn’t help but think of “Fluffy” in the first Harry Potter book. Even if I couldn’t spend a lot of time pondering and admiring the works of many of the impressionists and post-impressionists that I love, I needed to be in the same room as works by some of my favorites, such as Gaugin, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, before I hopped on a plane back home.
With nearly half a million works of art, this is one of the largest museums in the whole continent; it was no wonder I had to rush through it to get a feel for all of the collections. I particularly enjoyed the special exhibit of Cafe and Cabaret posters from Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris. One can see a reknowned work of art in a book or on a computer screen any number of times, or even buy a lovely print and hang it on one’s very own wall, but it is another thing altogether to share physical space with the artist’s original. To interact with the images was one thing, and to interact with others who are also interacting with the works adds another level to the experience.
Of course, as in most museums, no flash photography or tripods are allowed, so I shot mostly with my LC-A+, taking advantage of the mood of one well-lit gallery space after another; but also with the occasional Holga, hoping for just the right combination of experience, lighting, and luck to get a shot that captured – in a nostalgic, if not accurate, way – the mood of what I experienced first hand and would hope to remember in some useful way.
The Museum of Fine Arts is generally open seven days a week: Monday and Tuesday from 10 am to 4:45 pm; Wednesday to Friday from 10 am to 9:45 pm; and Saturday/Sunday from 10 am to 4:45 pm.
Admission is $20 for adults (who are not students, nor really old); cheaper for everyone else.