30x30, Personal Project

30 x 30: #19 – Finish visiting the entire MFA with Caroline

2014 11-23 MFA -  MapI’m calling this one. And with that I’m down to eight remaining on my 30×30 list. I told you I’d be moving through quite a few this week! After almost four hours at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Caroline and I were exhausted. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen 99% of it and what we haven’t seen I’m sure we will. Below is just a taste of what we saw today and if you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I’ve been to the MFA many times. You can see some of my related posts by clicking here or on the Museum of Fine Arts tab at the bottom of this post or by using the search bar!

We’ve been quite a few times together, but the last time we went we saw specific exhibits and I knew that there were still large portions of the museum I hadn’t visited and figured I might as well drag her along with me 🙂 Our main goals today were the Art of the Ancient World and Art of Asia, Oceana and Africa wings of the museum, as we’d previously viewed the Art of the Americas, the Contemporary Art and most of the European wings.

In the Art of Asia, Oceana and Africa wings there were so many things to take in but by far the coolest were the beautiful dragon over the stairwell (below left), the paint on the back of the Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, and the awesome Japanese foot massaging chair (below right). The chair was a recreation so we could actually sit in it and try it and it was within an entire recreated “house.”

In the Art of the Ancient World wing I was distracted by their seeming obsession with sex and the body:

2014 11-23 Pervy Romans and Greeks?Juno, left, isn’t meant to be sexy, but she was so big! The middle one is exactly what you think it is, it is a Statue of Priapus and I was like WHOA, but the plaque said he was a minor god of fertility and fruit and thus the picture. (For the record it’s a large statue, and I must’ve been moving around because I didn’t want people to think I was a pervert for taking the picture – thus the blurriness…) The third was Hermaphrodite which I never made the connection that the name was taken from Hermes and Aphrodite.

When people weren’t obsessed with sex or the bodily form they were obsessed with death, even the Americans:

2014 11-23 MFA - Obsessed with DeathOn the left is a footstone for a grave in the early US and to the right is a marble copy of the Tomb effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck. The tomb effigy was incredibly stunning and the detail was amazing, definitely click the link to see some of the zoomed in shots.

The last thing that I found that I really enjoyed was how open the MFA is trying to be about the provenance of their pieces. The MFA and many other museums have faced tough criticism about provenance and where many of their acquisitions have come from. In response to books like Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman, many museums are now starting to include on their websites and in their collections things like the below right:

2014 11-23 MFA - ProvenanceI think it’s great as even if they don’t provide the full answers they at least give researchers and historians a place to start.

I’m glad I dragged Caroline back even if we were exhausted by the end of the day. I can’t wait to get back in early January and see the current exhibit: Goya: Order and Disorder and if I can squeeze it in before I head home for the holiday’s I’d like to see the Jamie Wyeth exhibition too!



6 thoughts on “30 x 30: #19 – Finish visiting the entire MFA with Caroline”

  1. Isn’t it amazing how much they can fit into that museum?! I always forget how big it is. (though if you really want to spend a lot of time — a couple of days’ worth — wandering around a museum, go to the Louvre! It’s unbelievable)

    The Art of the Ancient World is one of my favorite sections at the MFA. I love all that old ancient history stuff. (Might be because I had to take Latin and learn the Greek/Roman myths from 7th-11th grades!) It’s truly amazing how much of that stuff still exists! And really awe-inspiring how much work it took to make them, considering the tools they had available. I took Ancient History classes my last year of college and loved them. And they prompted a long overdue return trip to the MFA on one of my weekends home that year.

    I’d like to see the Hollywood Glamour (Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen) and the Gold and the Gods (Jewels of Ancient Nubia) exhibits before they leave the museum. (There’s also a fiber exhibit I’d like to see at the ICA…) 🙂


    1. I loved the Louvre and have been three times and only really done the same things over and over.

      Let me know if you ever want to go I’ve got a membership that gets me and a guest in. And I would definitely recommend the Hollywood exhibit it was small though and the jewelry was good but they have so much more in their collection!


      1. We were in Paris for a weekend and went to the Louvre on 2 different days and are fairly certain we didn’t even see half of what they have there!

        Oh thanks! That’s sweet of you! Good to hear about the exhibit, I was wondering about it. The last time I was at the MFA was in 2008 so I’m overdue for a trip! (I think they were just finishing up the Americas wing – or it had just opened up – so I haven’t seen it yet)


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