|Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA|
|Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is a wonder, a vast collection of beautiful things in a beautiful building. The $465-million Art of The Americas Wing opened in 2010.|
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, a great Greek temple on Huntington Avenue (map) houses one of the world's finest collections of artworks, second in the USA only to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Many paintings you may have admired for years through prints and photos in art books are on view in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
(If you are traveling a long way to see a particular work of art, you may want to check with the museum to assure that it is on display, and not in storage or on load to another museum. See the contact information, below.)
The museum's collections include such iconic works as Gilbert Stuart's Athenaeum Head portrait of George Washington; Renoir's Le Bal a Bougival; Burne-Jones's The Love Song; Whistler's Girl in a White Dress; works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, lots of Monets; Death of Maximilian by Manet; and works by Japanese, Chinese, European, medieval, Renaissance, and baroque masters are all well represented.
The MFA's splendid $465-million Art of the Americas Wing opened in 2010.
A fine collection of Paul Revere silver, several rooms taken from French chateaux, full-size Japanese temple, a 9th-century Spanish chapel, Egyptian mummies, Assyrian seals—the list goes on to the treasures of almost 200 galleries.
How to Visit
The way to find what you want is to pick up a floor plan guide as you enter.
You can't possibly see even a fraction of it all, so pick out a few areas or rooms to concentrate on and enjoy.
Avoid visiting on weekends if possible. The crowds are not as dense on weekdays.
The museum's café and restaurant, are modern and attractive. The menus are often keyed to special exhibits—Chinese dishes predominated when some impressive Chinese bronzes were on display—and the prices are moderate. The wine list is short, good, and fairly priced.
Getting There & Getting In
A visit to the Museum of Fine Arts is enriching, but not cheap. However, the admission fee gives you the right to leave the museum and return on the same day, and also to return on another day in the same week. Also note that major special exhibits may carry their own additional fees.
Driving to the Museum
Driving to the MFA presents its own challenges. Whenever I approach it via Storrow Drive and the maze of one-way streets around The Fenway, I inevitably spend a lot of time wandering around. The surest way to approach is westbound along Huntington Avenue to Museum Road.
Parking Near the Museum
Parking in the museum's garage or parking lot on Museum Road may cost an additional $20 or more. Pay for your parking (cash or credit card) at the machines in the cloak room before you leave the museum building.
A dozen or so spaces on The Fenway right in front of the museum are free, with no meters, but in even higher demand. If your car is well-parked elsewhere, you may want to leave it there and take the MBTA Green Line subway.
Going by MBTA Subway
Two Museums in One Day
Because the exquisite Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is so near the MFA, try to schedule your visit to both museums for the same day (and parking spot).
—by Tom Brosnahan