By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston is free for college students, only a short distance from Boston University and has a lot of neat exhibits on display right now that are really worth checking out. Here are a few that can only be seen for a short time! Did I mention admission is free with your BU ID?
1. “To Boston with Love“
Flags sewn in response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings are on display in the Shapiro Family Courtyard this month. The MFA brought back the display as the one-year anniversary approaches. More than 1,700 flags were sewn with words of encouragement and thoughtful designs to show love and peace to the Boston community. These flags come from all parts of the world, and show global support for Boston.
On display in the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery until July 13, “Permission to be Global” features Latin American art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection. It shows what it means to be global today and includes paintings, photography, video and performance art.
3. “Think Pink“
“Think Pink” explores how the color pink has changed in meaning and has influenced art and fashion over time. It’s on display in the Loring Gallery until May 26. The exhibit includes dresses, men’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and paintings.
4.”Quilts and Color“
In the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery until July 27, “Quilts and Color” features approximately 60 quilts of bright colors and designs. Artists Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy put together the collection to show the work of mid-20th century art.
With hours upon hours of exhibits to explore, be sure to check these out before they are gone! These displays can’t be seen anywhere else!
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Cherry blossoms, cotton candy and girls in frilly lace dresses are just some of the many possibilities that might come to mind when one thinks of the color pink.
From the palest shades of amaranth to the more vibrant fuchsia and magenta, since the later half of the 20th century, the color pink has been associated with romance, flowers, delicateness, femininity and even boldness.
“Think Pink,” the newest exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, prompts visitors to reflect on the meaning of the color pink as it has evolved through time, be it through its evolution in the use of fashion and accessories, or its association with social and gender classification. The exhibit highlights several dresses from the collection of the late Evelyn Lauder, who was known for creating the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness in 1992. It also showcases a handful of works from other influential designers, such as Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.
On Friday, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts for the very first time in an effort to get a much-needed breath of fresh air and explore areas off-campus. As someone who’s had a lifelong aversion to all things pink, I was pleasantly surprised by how fascinating I found the exhibit.
Though it was smaller than I was expecting it to be, its size by no means limits the message it aims to create. Rather than overwhelming visitors in a splash of pink, the exhibit draws one’s eyes to the artfully selected pieces on display. It doesn’t fail to capture one’s attention and stir intriguing topics to dwell on, with captions explaining how pink hadn’t been associated with femininity until the 1920s. Before that, both boys and girls wore pink undergarments and it wasn’t uncommon for men to wear pink formal suits. It wasn’t until the 19th century when darker business suits became trendy for men.
“Think Pink” opened last Thursday, coinciding with the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The exterior of the museum will also be illuminated in pink every night for the rest of October.
The exhibit can be found in the Loring Gallery (Gallery 276) and will be open to the public until May 26, 2014. Entry to the Museum of Fine Arts is free for BU students with identification.
By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
There’s a ton happening this weekend, from music to free food to crazy shows. Here’s the roundup.
Few know how to have a good time on a budget better than the folks at The Boston Calendar. TBC is a website that features cool, interesting events happening around the city (brought to you by Reddit). They’re collaborating with Impact Lighthouse, a collaborative of socially good leaders and Reddit Boston.
There’s music, an open bar with signature cocktails, craft beer from Sam Adams and organic wine. There’s also a guest art mural and “healthy food” (as TBC advertises), among other things. You might want to contact TBC for tickets though, in case they’ve filled up.
Time: 7-10:30 p.m. Thursday
Location: Workbar Cambridge, 45 Prospect St., Cambridge
Cost: Free Admission
Even though our BUIDs get us into the MFA for free, I suggest going to their college night event and exploring their “Hippie Chic” exhibition while you can.
The exhibition features “hippie” style fashion, precisely 54 ensembles with paisley velvet and “far-out wigs” dating from 1967 through 1972. There’s also tie-dye fashion art and photos with vintage VW vans (if you’re into that).
Time: 6-9:45 p.m. Thursday
Location: The MFA
Cost: Free Admission, $9 film tickets
Author Jeffrey Zygmont gives an insider’s view of self-publishing in a talk about the benefits as well as the pitfalls and perils that indie books bring to authors.
The discussion is open to anyone, from book lovers and students of literature to prospective writers of any type, whether poetry, fiction, non-fiction or even scholarly books. It is followed by readings from novels by Zygmont and indie authors Erica Ferencick and Randy Ross.
Time: 7 p.m. Thursday
Location: Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 338 Newbury St.
Cost: Free Admission
(HT to TBC for this one.) If you’re looking to decompress, the Cambridge Zen Center offers a free zen class that’s open to the public. No registration is needed and you can take the class more than once.
Time: 7-7:30 p.m. Thursday
Location: Cambridge Zen Center, 199 Auburn St., Cambridge
Cost: Free Admission
‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ Street Pianos Boston Festival
Come Friday there will be 75 pianos scattered across Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. The international ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ project has reached more than four million people worldwide, and on Thursday it’s kicking off its run in Beantown.
Time: Friday through Oct. 14
Location: Throughout Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline
In honor of Marshmallow Fluff, which was invented in 1917 in Somerville, check out the “What the Fluff?” festival in Union Square. The event includes music, Fluff-cooking and a bunch of diabetes-inducing games (“The Fluff Lick-Off,” for example).
You also get to elect the Pharaoh of Fluff, one of the most prestigious titles in Somerville’s history.
Time: 3-7 p.m. Saturday
Location: Union Square, Somerville
Free wine. Need I say more?
The wine tasting events are held at the Brookline Liquor Market every Saturday. They have also had beer tastings in the past.
Time: 1-5 p.m. Saturday
Location: Brookline Liquor Market, 1354 Commonwealth Ave., Allston
The festival showcases some of the most acclaimed up-and-coming artists such as Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott, the Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf and the Matt Savage Quartete featuring saxophonist Bobby Watson.
There are ticketed performances on Friday and Sunday, but Saturday’s free.
Time: 12-6 p.m. Saturday
Location: Columbus Avenue & Massachusetts Avenue, South End, Boston,
The City of Boston is offering a free outdoor painting workshop for painters of all ages and skill levels. Beginners are welcome.
Time: 12-2 p.m. Sunday
Location: Nina Rock Urban Wild, Arcola St., Jamaica Plain
By Deborah Wong, Staff Writer
As you enter the ‘Samurai!’ exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, you face three formidable samurai armors. These armors symbolize courage, skills and status in Japanese society. You initially stare in fear at the dragon-shaped horns on the helmet, the protruding nose on the mask and the gold-encrusted swirls on the chest piece. But after understanding that every minuscule detail has a function and meaning, you stare in awe at these majestic Samurais– the military elite of Japan.
The exquisite art of these Japanese warriors fascinate collectors Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller— so much so that eventually expanded their collection into The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum in Dallas, Texas. ‘Samurai!’ shares a selection of these artifacts with Bostonians, illustrating the evolution of these fearsome fighters from the 12th to the 19th century. The samurai is still widely talked about today, and their skills continue to inspire multiple Eastern sports and martial arts. The samurai— with their truly remarkable finesse— are praised for their honorable code based on the seven essential virtues: honesty, courage, respect, benevolence, rectitude, honor and loyalty.
The opening of the collection introduces the overall history of these highly trained combatants. Three soldiers stand erect in full uniform, clutching their weapons: chest armor, footwear, a mask, a helmet, a bow and arrow and a thin sword. Their posture resembles a Buckingham palace guard, but you wouldn’t want to stand too close to these men should they to come to life. As you continue along, parts of the armor are separated for you to analyze each of the traditional opera-like masks, the vibrant horse saddles and the daunting helmets.
The Shogun, or warlords, described the sword as “the soul of the samurai,” but surprisingly there aren’t many swords at the MFA. In fact; only one sword stood out from the whole collection. The single sword was placed in a glass box, almost like it was levitating in the middle of the room. The gold on the handle and the bronze pieces radiated, causing anyone who entered this room to approach the thin piece of steel. Museum guests could not take their eyes off the detailed gold leaves and the shiny lacquer. I applaud them for this intriguing, alluring display of the soul of these fighters.
But hands down, the helmets stole the spotlight; the intricate engravings of the iron and steel are absolutely breathtaking. Certain carved shapes and pieces reveal Japanese beliefs and superstitions. For example, one helmet had what looked like Bugs Bunny ears planted on the top. Since the metal looks extremely long and heavy the design may seem to hinder the warrior’s performance when fighting, but those hare ears symbolize longevity.
Once you step to the next helmet, you’re faced with one that is adorned with little flames on the side and on the top to represent the Buddhist doctrine. Besides that, the pendant for the goddess of archers is emblazoned on the forehead of the helmet. Every little detail matters in the construction of these uniforms.
However the exhibition did not provide any description of the fighting styles of the samurai. They are trained to be precise in their fighting technique yet they also carry some form of art in their movements. The benefit of omitting the gory war scenes is to allow the viewers to imagine for themselves on how these samurai perform on and off the battlefield when they strap on their armors. Plus, with just the artifacts on display, it reminds the audience that they’re not just bloodthirsty killers— they carry some form of grace.
Nonetheless I would personally love to view some aspects of their training. There seems to be a gap in their display of the growth of the start of the samurai’s journey as a 12-year-old boy to the time when he vows to follow bushido, a code to fight and to accept death.
The names and the classes of the samurai may be confusing but, overall the exhibition was able to illuminate on their transformation from generation to generation, providing sufficient background on the cultural and doctrinal beliefs, the military history of them, their feudal lords, and the creation of each individual masterpiece.
The samurai celebrated “tango-no-sekku” to remind the young men of their importance of their samurai status. Now the stories of these Japanese elite fighters aren’t only shared among young men, but among people of all ages. Go see the MFA version of tango-no-sekku where they remind everyone of these revered and warriors.
The ‘Samurai!’ exhibition will run at the MFA through Aug. 4.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
I know you’ve probably heard this Bucket List item a million times, but before you scroll down to the next post just hear me out.
There are multiple stereotypes surrounding museums, namely a huge white-walled building with art older than, well, everything else, ever. Those who truly appreciate art stare at paintings for hours on end, discovering the true genius nature of the piece and why the artist used specific colors and facial expressions. But hey, newsflash! This just in: art is not just old and boring.
Don’t believe me? Speaking from personal experience here—I’m not exactly an art expert—but I think Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has something for everyone. And what do you have to lose? The museum itself is free for Boston University students, and the only fee you have to cough up is for the T. Just take the B Line to Copley and transfer to the E Line to get off at the Museum of Fine Arts stop.
The Museum of Fine Arts is huge, and it’s easy to get lost. What I found really helpful was a map of all the exhibits that you receive upon entering the museum. You get a new one every time, but feel free to take the map home as a souvenir. The map led me to two floors of contemporary art, and boy, was I intrigued. Every piece seems to stand out, and the many mediums the art is constructed from seem virtually endless. One piece I was drawn to, “Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism” by Josiah McElheny, is a box of hand-blown glass explicitly created to multiply the pieces inside. This piece was just the first of many thought-provoking pieces that I couldn’t help looking at a little closer. I discovered at the museum that art is full of illusions, viewed differently at every angle.
There is so much to see at the museum that you may find yourself there for most of the day.Don’t worry about food. The museum has multiple cafés and restaurants that also serve delicious food and drinks. The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard is a great place to relax, eat and get some work done. I took a short break from my museum expedition to enjoy a pumpkin latte and roast beef sandwich from Taste, a café on the first level of the museum.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to wander around, especially when you have no idea what kind of art you might enjoy. I stumbled upon an exhibit titled “Lure of Japan,” scheduled to remain through Dec. 31. I liked this gallery because of the bright primary colors, and the art looked like posters I might hang in my dorm room. Another collection truly exciting to look at was the third floor modern art gallery, and a gallery of instruments found me questioning how I never knew instruments could be so beautifully made.
The best part of my visit to the museum was by far viewing the work of Mario Testino, both a fashion and celebrity photographer. This exhibit will remain until February 2013, so go now while you have a chance! Testino has a small part of his exhibit featuring British Royal portraits, which is quite a sight. I love staring at famous British people as much as the next person, but this small part is nothing compared to the rest of his exhibit. The photos are simply breathtaking, and though I couldn’t take photos as evidence, please take my word for it and check them out yourself.
Some of the art you may just pass by without a second look, but others may stop you in your tracks. The museum is open seven days a week, it’s free and not very far away. So what are you waiting for? Just go check it out already!