Exploring Art and Printmaking at the Boston M.F.A.

Heading to the Boston MFA.One of the perks of being teachers is that Kendra and I get school vacations to spend with Addison. We try to take advantage of this time, using it to take her on new adventures or experiences. With Kendra’s parents in town for the holidays, the five of us had a special adventure to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. I’ve taken Addie here before, and she loved it.

While Kendra checked our coats, and Jane and Boris hit the restrooms, Addie and I looked at some neat violins and flutes made in the 19th century. I was surprised she recognized what they were, as they looked quite different than modern violins. I was tempted to explore the exhibition further, especially since Addison wanted to look at more instruments, but the coat line was short, so after checking out those few items, we headed back to the lobby.

Addie checking out Chihuly's tree at the M.F.A. in Boston, MA.

With our jackets stored safely with museum staff, the five of us headed to the Art of the America’s wing, stopping on the way to check out Chihuly’s “Lime Green Icicle Tower” sculpture in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Despite being forty-two feet high, and comprised of 2,342 pieces of glass, the sculpture is inviting rather than imposing. Addie was immediately drawn to the piece, and slowly worked her way around the base.

After we managed to pull Addie away from the Chihuly, we moved on to the first floor of the  Art of the America’s wing, which features 18th-century art of the colonial Americas and early 19th-century art.

La Farge stained glass at the Boston M.F.A.

Addie was immediately drawn to the Tiffany stained glass, “Parakeets and Gold Fish Bowl,” (1893). She also liked looking for butterflies in John La Farge’s, “Butterflies and Foliage,” (1889) stained glass window.

In the Americans on the Grand Tour gallery, she spent quite a bit of time looking at the sculptures. It’s really neat to see what she’s drawn to, and how she reacts to each piece of art. Addie may not know how to express her opinion about composition, or possess the vocabulary of an art critic, but she can tell us what she sees and likes.

Checking out art at the Boston MFA.

Because it’s school vacation week, the museum is offering free art-making activities for kids. When Addie tired of looking at artwork, we headed to the museum’s Education Center to make artwork! The staff was running a printmaking workshop, so we settled down with styrofoam plates and created our own masterpieces!

Making prints at the Boston MFA.

Printmaking at the Boston MFA

Printmaking at the Boston MFA.

Sadly, we didn’t get to any of the other activities, so we are planning on going back to the museum early next week. (One of the perks of admission is that your ticket is good for TEN days!)

One of these days, we’d also like to get to an MFA playdate. On the first and third Mondays of each month from 10:30 am–11:15 am, (except January 21, 2013, February 18th, 2013 and April 15th, 2013) toddlers can enjoy story time and art viewing in the galleries, followed by art making activities. There are also quite a few family activities for older children.

Unlike many museums, the Boston M.F.A. is open seven days a week; Saturdays through Tuesdays from 10am until 4:45pm and Wednesdays through Fridays from 10am until 9:45pm.

Admission can be pricey – though kids under 6 are free, admission is $10 for ages 7-17 (except non-school hours, during which all kids 17 and under are free). Adults are $25 each. (This is $3 more than the last time we visited the museum earlier this year!) Students (18+) and Seniors (65+) are $23. If you’re a local, the best deal is to check out passes from your public library. If you’re visiting from out of state, admission is free on Wednesdays after 4pm.

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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7 Responses to Exploring Art and Printmaking at the Boston M.F.A.

  1. Kathy Larocque December 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    The free passes were awesome. We used them often when the kids were little.
    We would always stop in the Zen Garden and make the kids sit peacefully for 5 minutes before entering the museum.
    They used to have their favorite pieces that they would look for each time we went.
    Liz always loved “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit” Joe liked the “Three Headed Dog” in the atrium. Victoria loved the Monet pieces. Such fond memories.
    Also, joining the museum is a great deal, especially if there is an exhibit coming up that is special to you.

    • Jen December 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      That is so sweet Kathy! Addie LOVED the three-headed dog. When are we going to a museum together?!

  2. Janeiack December 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    This visit was such a memorable part of our Christmas visit. No wonder Addie is so observant!

  3. Cathyrn Rice December 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    What a wonderful adventure!

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