Boston, MA (Vocus) November 17, 2010
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will celebrate the opening of its new Art of the Americas Wing with a free Community Day on Saturday, November 20—the first day that the new wing will be open to the public. Doors to the Museum will open at 10:00 a.m., followed by an Opening Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in the Museum’s new Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, where Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA, will welcome visitors. Doors to the new wing will open at 11:00 a.m. Activities are planned throughout the day until the Museum closes at 9:45 p.m., including a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Hawthorne String Quartet. To mark this moment in the Museum’s history, November 20 has been proclaimed “MFA Day” in the City of Boston by the Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor. The opening of The New MFA is sponsored by Bank of America.
At the MFA’s Community Day, children from several Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston—longstanding partners in the Museum’s Community Arts Initiative—will arrive in a Boston Duck Tours boat parade at the MFA’s Huntington Avenue circle. The children will be the first to enter the Museum when the doors open at 10:00 a.m., followed by the first 500 visitors. Visitors at the Huntington Avenue entrance will be entertained by the Boston University Pep Band. Those at the Museum’s State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance will see Boston’s Hot Tamale Brass Band perform. Warm apple cider will be served that morning at both entrances, and MFA-logo temporary tattoos will be distributed. (Visitors are encouraged to leave large bags and backpacks at home.)
The Opening Ceremony in the Shapiro Family Courtyard will begin at 10:30 a.m. Trumpet flourishes will introduce remarks by Rogers, followed by the singing of “America the Beautiful” by members of New England Conservatory’s Millennium Gospel Choir and Boston University’s Inner Strength Choir. The MFA’s Teen Arts Council will present the American flag. Rogers will then open the doors to the wing at 11:00 a.m. and invite visitors to tour the galleries.
The wing for the Art of the Americas and the Shapiro Family Courtyard are designed by Foster + Partners (London). The wing is dedicated to the art of all of the Americas—North, Central, and South—spanning three millennia, from ancient times through the 20th century. It features 5,000 works in 53 galleries, which include nine period rooms and four Behind the Scenes galleries.
Activities for Adults and Families
Spotlight Talks about works of art in the Art of the Americas Wing will be presented by curators and educators in the galleries every half hour during the Community Day, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. American Sign Language interpreters and Access Guides will be on hand to assist people with disabilities.
Multimedia guides offering tours of artworks for adults and children, will be available for rental ($5 for members, $6 for the general public, and $4 for children). The guides include images and narration for more than 500 works, as well as videos of curators and artists; collection highlights are translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese. The guides also incorporate special features for those who are blind, have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing.
Family art-making activities will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. A scavenger hunt, “Passport to the Americas,” will begin in the Shapiro Family Courtyard and the adventure will continue throughout the new wing. In addition, engaging “Art Connections” cards will enable children to discover thematic objects—from barnyard animals and flowers to dogs and chocolate—found in works of art from many cultures. Visitors of all ages will also be invited to try watercolor painting in the wing’s new studio art classrooms.
Visitors can watch a short video featuring Malcolm Rogers in the new Barbara and Theodore Alfond Auditorium presenting an overview of the new Art of the Americas Wing. They can also enjoy spectacular views of Boston from the glass-enclosed walkways near the Behind the Scenes galleries on Levels 1 and 2 of the wing.
Musical entertainment paying tribute to the Americas will be presented at 6:00 p.m. in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Nineteen-year-old cello virtuoso Anthony Rymer and pianist Zenan Yu will perform Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango. This will be followed by the Hawthorne String Quartet, made up of musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra—Si-Jing Huang and Ronan Lefkowitz, violins; Mark Ludwig, viola; and Sato Knudsen, cello—who will perform music from Charles Ives’s Quartet No. 1, From the Salvation Army; David Post’s Quartet No. 3; and Thomas Oboe Lee’s Morango...Almost a Tango.
Getting to the MFA
The MFA expects large crowds on Community Day and recommends using public transportation, accessible by taking the Green line E train to the MFA stop, the Orange line to the Ruggles stop, or bus #39 to the MFA stop, or #8, 47, or CT2 buses to the Ruggles Street stop. For driving directions, please go to http://www.mfa.org. Limited parking is available in the surface parking lots and the Museum garage on Museum Road.
For more information please visit http://www.mfa.org/press.