It’s getting colder here and, in Boston, with the cold comes the snow (did you know it didn’t fully melt until June last year?). Rather than staying inside getting stir crazy, you can find many fun ways to spend a snowy or rainy day. I often gravitate to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) for its grand paintings and fun atmosphere.
While the MFA holds more than 500,000 fascinating art pieces, the real art is in the details. Even the smallest art pieces can have an amazing story. Here are the top ten reasons to visit MFA Boston:
1. The Giant Baby Heads
Not many art museums can say that they have two giant baby heads at one of their entrances. The sculptures, Day and Night by Antonio Lopez Garcia, are the first art pieces you will see when you walk in through the back entrance of the MFA. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to be a little freaked out by the giant baby heads, but they’re definitely a fun conversation starter!
2. John Singer Sargent Painted Ceiling
After you come in through the front entrance, walk around the corner into the Carol Vance Wall Rotunda area. Make sure to look up at the ceiling decorated with mythical legends such as Venus and Minerva. Painted in the early 1920s by John Singer Sargent, it is a must see at the MFA. Don’t worry about straining your neck though, because there is mirror located in the middle of the floor for you to look into.
3. Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) by Frida Kahlo
I never thought I would be able to see a Kahlo in person in my life, but, just a few weeks ago, the MFA welcomed Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia). Although I didn’t recognize this piece at first, I was amazed to find it was a Kahlo. It is the first and only of Kahlo’s work to be featured at the MFA. Dos Mujeres will be available to view until March 1, then it will go through conservation treatment before returning to be displayed permanently. So go see it now before you have to wait!
4. Conservation in Action
Have you ever wondered how the paintings look in such good condition considering their age? Well, as you explore the MFA, on the last floor, you can find an open room with a large glass window in front of it, and a painting behind it. If you stop by the front of the glass, you can watch as one of the paintings gets restored – it’s a pretty cool process!
5. The Food
Need a pick-me-up while viewing the museum’s wonderful art work? You’re in luck because the MFA has a few great places to satisfy your appetite. If you’re in need of coffee, go to the Taste Café and Wine Bar, there you can get anything from espresso to wine, as well as a salad or sandwich. The Garden Cafeteria is another food option, where you can get everything from salad to chicken nuggets. However, if you’d rather have a nice sit-down meal to relax for a while, try the New American Café or Bravo, the two more upscale eateries at the MFA.
6. The Penny and Jeff Vink Gallery
Found in the Art of Americas wing, this wine-colored gallery will bring out your inner wonder. It holds grand sculptures, beautifully painted portraits of waterfalls, and other landscapes that will make you feel as if you’re there. When you look at some of the paintings, it’s like a dreamy summer’s day. Artists such as William Forest Hunt and William Lamb Picknell are featured in the gallery.
7. Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso is one of the most well-known painters of the art world, and normally his paintings and other art pieces are shared in a smaller exhibition room. But from February-June 2016, the special exhibition “Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso.” will showcase some of the MFA’s own works alongside other pieces on loan to highlight the range and themes of Picasso’s work.
8. “Picture Gallery with Modern Views of Rome”
Out of the many beautiful paintings in the Arts of Europe wing, the Picture Gallery with Modern Views of Rome has to be one of the most fascinating to look at. This huge painting is basically the “Inception” of paintings. If you look at it closely enough (without tripping the sensor alarm, of course!) you can see delicately painted scenes of Rome.
9. The Japanese Garden
Although not accessible during the winter, in the spring, the Japanese garden Tenshin-en(Garden of the Heart of Heaven) is a beautiful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can take a walk around the small, peaceful garden and let all your care float away.
10. The Price
Though the MFA charges an admission fee of $25 for non-members, it is free for students from many participating colleges in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine with a student ID.
The MFA is a fun place to go with friends, family and even by yourself (I know it might be scary, but take yourself on a date, you deserve it!). So delight your artsy soul by taking a lovely trip to the MFA, and discover something new when you visit MFA Boston!
Nestled near Northeastern University and Wentworth University, the MFA is just a hop, skip and a jump off of the Museum of Fine Arts stop off the Green E line, which you can catch at Park Street station.
About the author: Haleigh Santilli is a sophomore commuter college student from Lasell College, with a passion for anything artsy and delicious. She loves old movies and, shamelessly, the Jonas Brothers. She longs to travel around the world and write a children’s book. You can find her on Instagram @haleighhily.