It’s been a few years since I’ve visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Having been living in New York City I wasn’t paying much attention to the recent renovation. So when I did stop in with a friend to reconnect with the collection I’d been so familiar with, it was a breath of fresh air to enter the new wing and the Art of the Americas collection. What was once outdoors is now a glass-enclosed dining area that is a magnificently vast, open room. The glass crisply highlights the classic brickwork of the building, punctuated on one side by a towering yellow glass Chihuly sculpture.
The modern work on the third floor was a high point for me, particularly the Andrew Wyeth and Norman Rockwell, American icons, side by side. Perennial favorite John Singer Sargent has many paintings and studies throughout the museum, as well as a graphic series of mythic ceiling murals that I continue to get a jolt from.
On a side note, Isabella and the Pot of Basil by John White Alexander is a lesser known painting from the late 19th century in the museum’s permanent collection. While a student at RISD I did an almost full size study of this piece that my parents still have up in their house. There really is nothing like the original however. Just beautiful.