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When the College of William and Mary's' Muscarelle Museum of Art landed its latest world-class art exhibit – this one featuring more than 30 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci – the tourism community at last stepped up in support.

"Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty" opens Saturday at the Muscarelle and runs through April 5. It's the second huge exhibit at the Muscarelle in three years, following 2013's "Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane." Like the Michelangelo exhibit, the da Vinci art will only have one other U.S. venue, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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Gordon Parks (1912-2006), one of the most celebrated African-American photographers of all time, is the subject of a new exhibition of groundbreaking photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott" (January 17–September 13, 2015) traces Parks’ return to his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas and then to other Midwestern cities, to track down and photograph each of his childhood classmates. On view in the MFA’s Art of the Americas Wing, the exhibition’s 42 photographs were from a series originally meant to accompany a Life magazine photo essay—but for reasons unknown, the story was never published. The images depict the realities of life under segregation in 1950—presenting a rarely seen view of everyday lives of African-American citizens in the years before the Civil Rights movement began in earnest. One of the most personal and captivating of all Parks’ projects, the images, now owned by The Gordon Parks Foundation, represent a rare and little-known group within Parks’ oeuvre.

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:35

Dallas Contemporary Names Two New Curators

It has just been announced that Dallas Contemporary museum in Texas has named two new curators. Alison Gingeras will be its new adjunct curator and Justine Ludwig its new director of exhibitions and senior curator.

Ludwig has worked with many museums and art centers, including: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Rose Art Museum, the Colby College Museum of Art, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

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This evening, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, opened a time capsule removed last month from below the Massachusetts State House. Governor Deval Patrick, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, and Malcolm Rogers, the MFA’s Ann and Graham Gund Director, watched as the contents of the time capsule, originally placed under the State House cornerstone by Governor Samuel Adams, patriot Paul Revere and Colonel William Scollay in 1795, were revealed. The Commonwealth was aware of historic accounts referring to the time capsule’s existence, which was confirmed by engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) during a water infiltration project in summer 2014 under the management of the State’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). The time capsule had been previously unearthed in 1855, when its contents were documented and cleaned, and additional objects believed to be added.

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It has been obvious for many years that few areas of the Museum of Fine Arts’s permanent collection were more poorly presented to the public than its stupendous Greek and Roman holdings. The relevant galleries, on the eastern side of the building, had almost no climate control, which meant that in summer they were baking. This made for uncomfortable viewing, but it was also, of course, totally inappropriate for the fragile objects on view. The glass cases were often dusty. Wall labels were typed out on cards.

Now, three contiguous galleries devoted to aspects of Ancient Greece have been opened to the public, and the difference they make is enormous.

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Monday, 13 October 2014 12:36

Goya Retrospective Opens at Boston’s MFA

This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, presents "Goya: Order and Disorder," a landmark exhibition dedicated to Spanish master Francisco Goya (1746–1828). The largest retrospective of the artist to take place in America in 25 years features 170 paintings, prints and drawings—offering the rare opportunity to examine Goya’s powers of observation and invention across the full range of his work. The MFA welcomes many loans from Europe and the US, including 21 works from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, along with loans from the Musée du Louvre, the Galleria degli Uffizi, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art (Washington) and private collections. "Goya: Order and Disorder" includes some 60 works from the MFA’s collection of Goya’s works on paper, one of the most important in the world. Many of these prints and drawings have not been on view in Boston in 25 years. Employed as a court painter by four successive rulers of Spain, Goya managed to explore an extraordinarily wide range of subjects, genres and formats. From the striking portrait "Duchess of Alba" (1797) from the Hispanic Society of America, to the tour de force of Goya’s "Seated Giant" (by 1818) in the MFA’s collection, to his drawings of lunacy, the works on view demonstrate the artist’s fluency across media.

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A chance to own an assortment of museum-worthy pieces made by Louis Comfort Tiffany is coming up at Doyle New York’s Belle Epoque auction on September 23.

Deaccessioned from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the pieces comprise examples of Tiffany favrile glass vases in a variety of shapes and patterns (est. range $500-6,000). The highlights of the sale, however, are a bronze and lead favrile glass Dragonfly lamp designed by Clara Driscoll, circa 1906-1913 (est. $50,000-70,000), and a gold painted bronze and leaded favrile glass Dogwood lamp (est. $20,000-30,000).

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Nobody explores the space between intimacy and technology quite like Miranda July.

The performance artist, writer and filmmaker continually investigates the shapes of interconnectedness in the digital age, through films like "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and art initiatives like "We Think Alone," in which July's famous friends forwarded their intimate emails to your inbox.

Now July has created an app that will blur the line between digital and personal interaction, and it's called "Somebody."

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This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director, with a range of special programs and events, including an array of “20 Reasons to Visit.” The longest-tenured Director in the Museum’s 144-year history, Rogers marks two decades at the MFA on September 1. A free MFA Community Day: Celebrating 20 Years of Director Malcolm Rogers will be held on Sunday September 7, which follows a weekend of exclusive events, including a gala (sold out) and a lively MFA by Moonlight party on Saturday, September 6 (tickets on sale now). Special member events, exhibitions and public lectures will encourage visitors to come back for exciting activities all month long. Social media channels will use the hashtag #MR20 to highlight the festivities surrounding Rogers’ anniversary, with fans and followers invited to participate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is already under pressure this week for loaning out its most popular pieces. Now, human rights group Edo United for Homeland Empowerment is renewing controversy over a series of Benin artworks in the collection of the MFA and demanding their return to the state of Nigeria. Over two years ago, the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria called for the return of the same 32 artifacts, which were part of a collection donated by Robert Owen Lehman and are now housed in the museum’s Benin Kingdom Gallery.

“To protect cultural heritage is a basic requirement of human civilization,” the organization said in a statement from president Frank Ekhator, vice president Dickson Iyawe, and secretary Omolayo Omoruyi-Ukhuedoba.

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