Museum of Fine Arts Boston Access Program:
Winner of the 2014 Boston HLAA / Boston ALDA Award for
Excellence in Accessible Programming
The MFA’s Access Program, Hearing Loss Association of America local chapters, and the Boston chapter of Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) have come together to make museum tours fully available to persons with a wide range of different types and degrees of hearing loss. After a recent tour, we were provided some comments about the Assistive Listening Devices (ALD) provided by the MFA and used by our group.
“One of the attendees used a neck loop with her new cochlear implant. She said it was the first time in 15 years that she could hear everything. Another attendee used a headset and removed her hearing aid to avoid feedback and said she was happy she didn’t have to stay close to my side to hear. It’s wonderful to know how much the ALD’s helped them enjoy the tour. All the help Boston HLAA and Boston ALDA have given the MFA and the Access Program is paying off. It’s very exciting!”
The free guided tours are available to members and friends of HLAA and the Boston chapter of ALDA. Care partners and service animals are welcome. ( See the full description of tours and the pre-registration policy below.)
Stay Tuned for Content Details about the next schedule of FM Accessible Tours in 2017:
–> Art in Bloom
Friday, April 28 – 2:30 PM & 6:30 PM
Registration opens on April 5 and closes on April 21.
–>Matisse in the Studio
Sunday, May 21 – 10:30 AM
Registration opens on April 24 and closes on May 12.
–> Conservation at the MFA
Saturday, Jun 17 – 10:30 AM
Registration opens on May 22 and closes on June 9.
How to Pre-Register for MFA Accessible Guided Tours
Attendance is limited and pre-registration is required by the dates listed for each program. To pre-register or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 617-369-3302.
When you register, please indicate (in the subject line if you are emailing) the name of the tour and if you would like a neckloop or headset for the tour.
Registered participants will receive a confirmation prior to the date of the tour with entrance and cancellation information.
Because the Gallery Tour Listening System equipment is reserved for hearing loss support group participants, the equipment is not available to other MFA Boston visitors for drop-in tours. For that reason, guests of this program are requested to be aware of the the following policies:
Participants who register for accessible tours but cannot attend should note the cancellation policy on the confirmation to ensure that listening equipment is available to other visitors.
Late registrations cannot be accepted.
Those who have not pre-registered may only join a tour on a standby basis and will be turned away if registration is full.
Tours will begin promptly at start time. Attendees should arrive 15 minutes prior to start time.
Questions? Contact the museum at email@example.com or phone 617-369-3302.
Communication Access at the MFA Boston
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)
NECKLOOPS, ONSCREEN TRANSCRIPTS, ASL IN MFA GUIDE
In addition to headphones, we offer neckloops, which are compatible with t-coil hearing aids. Every MFA Guide stop also includes the option of onscreen text transcripts. We also offer an American Sign Language version of the MFA Highlights tour on the MFA Guide. You will find the ASL tour listed with the other languages. If you wish to get a device with no headset, please go to the Sharf Visitor center.
FM ASSISTIVE-LISTENING SYSTEMS
Headsets and neckloops are available for lectures, concerts, and films in Alfond Auditorium, Remis Auditorium, and in the Riley Seminar Room.
Portable FM assistive-listening devices, with either headsets or neckloops, are available at the Sharf Visitor Center for drop-in tours and gallery talks. For programs held in Riley Seminar Room, or for reserved tours and scheduled classes, please reserve devices in advance. For reservations and further information, please call 617-369-3302.
A Hand’s Reach to Art
A Hand’s Reach to Art provides access to MFA programs and events for visitors who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Throughout the year, a selection of gallery tours, performances, and demonstrations are presented in American Sign Language (ASL) or are sign-language interpreted. On the second Wednesday of each month there is a tour in ASL at 6 pm. This tour is free, and led by one of
Recent Guided FM Tours
–> Americas: Making Modern
Sunday, February 5
A five-gallery exhibition on the third floor of the MFA’s Art of the Americas Wing explored what it meant to be in the vanguard of Modern art in the 20th century. From Frida Kahlo to Jackson Pollock, original voices of Modern artists working in the Americas were influenced by a variety of contemporaries, teachers, rivals, and friends. Incorporating diverse sources of inspiration, 20th-century painters took their artistic practice in dramatic new directions. Each gallery represents a moment—from Mexico City to New York to Boston—illustrating the evolution of Modern art in North America. Featuring new acquisitions, rarely seen loans, and masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, the installations provided fresh perspectives on Modern artists working in the 20th century.
–>William Merritt Chase, American Impressionist
Saturday, Dec 3
A brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter, a skilled promoter and an important teacher, William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) was a leader in international art circles at the turn of the century. The first complete examination of the artist in over three decades, William Merritt Chase brought together approximately 80 of the artist’s finest works in both oil and pastel from public and private collections across the US. This major international traveling exhibition, co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC); Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia (Venice), and the Terra Foundation for American Art, shed new light on the work of one the leading American Impressionists.
–> Art of Asia
Sunday, Oct 23, 2016
Our tour visited three of the collections within the MFA’s permanent collection of Asian art:
Tenshin-en, or the “Garden of the Heart of Heaven;” a contemplative Japanese garden (weather permitting). Named for the Museum’s curator of Chinese and Japanese Art, Kakuz? Okakura, who worked at the MFA from 1904 until his death in 1913.
South and Southeast Asia: Sculptures and decorative arts reflect the sophisticated artistic traditions of India and the surrounding South Asian countries of Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as Southeast Asia, which includes Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The installation emphasizes how cultural exchange between the two geographic regions shaped artistic development during the course of two millennia.
Korea: The gallery for the Arts of Korea showcases the collection’s strengths in decorative arts, in 11th to 13th century celadons from the Hoyt collection, as well as spectacular pieces of lacquer and metalwork. In addition, the gallery includes paintings, both Buddhist and secular, and newly acquired contemporary ceramics.
–> Della Robbia: Sculpting w/ Color in Renaissance Florence (Torf)
Saturday, September 24
The glazed terracotta technique invented by Luca della Robbia (1399/1400–1482), along with his exceptional skill as a sculptor, placed him firmly in the first rank of Renaissance artists in the fifteenth century. This quintessentially Florentine art—taking the form of dazzling multicolored ornaments for major buildings of the city, flowed in abundance from the Della Robbia workshops for a hundred years.
“Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence” presented these works as powerful, expressive examples of the best of Italian Renaissance art. The exhibition featured about 50 objects, mostly from American collections, but including six important loans from Italy, never seen in the US before.
The exhibition of glazed terracotta Renaissance works by the Della Robbia and rival workshops spanned a variety of formats—Madonna and Child reliefs, small- and large-scale figures, narrative reliefs, coats-of-arms, and still-life compositions—that demonstrate the range and visual impact of the groundbreaking Della Robbia glazing technique.
Saturday, August 20
We focussed on the MFA’s extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. This display was recently expanded from one gallery to three galleries: Monet, Plein Air and Impressionism and Beyond: Urban Life and Escape.
Monet: The MFA boasts one of the largest Claude Monet collections outside France. One gallery is dedicated to Monet, providing an immersive experience of his work from the MFA’s permanent collection and select loans from private collections.
Plein Air: This corridor gallery celebrates painting in the out-of-doors, en plein air, a practice championed by the Impressionists in the late 19th century. It features paintings by Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro and Signac.
Impressionism and Beyond: Urban Life and Escape: The main gallery features a new installation exploring two major themes of late 19th-century French painting. In contrast to the luminous landscapes of Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro, the works of Degas and Caillebotte explored the realities of the modern urban experience in Paris while other artists sought an escape from the instability and expectations of urban life: Gauguin, Van Gogh and Cezanne.
–> Ancient World: Near East, Greek Galleries
June 18, 2016
Art of the Ancient World is home to one of the world’s premiere encyclopedic collections of antiquities, featuring more than 85,000 works of art from Egypt, Nubia, the Near East, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and Anatolia. These works range in date from about 6500 BC to AD 600 and include diverse media: sculpture, jewelry, coffins, mummies, coins, weapons, architecture, vases, carved gems, musical instruments, and mosaics. Special strengths of the collection are Old Kingdom Egyptian art, Nubian art of all periods, Greek vases, coins and gems, and Roman funerary art and imperial portraiture.
The Egyptian and Nubian collections were acquired mainly through the Harvard/MFA Expeditions undertaken by George Reisner in the early 20th century. Some of the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art were acquired through participation in the excavations at Assos (Turkey) and Naukratis (Egypt); most was purchased on the European art market beginning in 1885.
–> Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picassos
Saturday, May 21 at 10:30.
This dossier exhibition centered on pairing and juxtaposing works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). A loan of four major works from the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, and loans from private collections complemented the MFA’s holdings of painting and sculpture by the artist, looking at different stages of his career and his exploration of form. Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso” offered a unique opportunity to study the artist’s range of techniques and styles, with themes including the stylistic transformation of the human figure, variation of a single subject across works, and emulation of revered artistic forebears.
–> Art in Bloom
April 29, 2016
Art in Bloom 2016 celebrated 40 years of the exuberant spring festival at the MFA. This joyous rite of spring paired fine art and floral design with offerings of free guided tours among MFA treasures. Garden clubs and professional designers from across New England created floral arrangements inspired by the MFA’s works of art.
–> Art of Americas
February 20, 2016
( Fifty-three new galleries were open, in a new wing devoted to the Art of the Americas, from the Pre-Columbian era through the third quarter of the twentieth century.)
We explored the Pavilion galleries in the corners of the Americas Wing. The rooms contained furniture, decorative arts, etc. indicative of the times. We also viewed paintings, carousel animals, weather vanes, sculpture and other decorative arts objects — a varied and interesting view of American life in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
–> Made in the Americas
Dec 19, 2015
“Made in the Americas” is the first large-scale, Pan-American exhibition to examine the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring nearly 100 of the most extraordinary objects produced in the colonies, this exhibition explored the rich, complex story of how craftsmen throughout the hemisphere adapted Asian styles in a range of materials—from furniture to silverwork, textiles, ceramics, and painting. Exquisite objects from Mexico City, Lima, Quito, Quebec City, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, dating from the 17th to the early 19th centuries, include blue-and-white talavera ceramics copied from imported Chinese porcelains, elaborately decorated furniture inspired by imported Japanese lacquer, and luxuriously woven textiles made to replicate fine silks and cottons imported from China and India.
–> Class Distinctions
November 14, 2015
Ann and Graham Gund Gallery
Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes. The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.
Sep 19, 2015
From gilded icons of the Italian Renaissance to one of the largest collections of Monets outside of Paris, the MFA has artwork by highly celebrated artists, including Titian, Dürer, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Renoir. Ranging in date from the seventh century to the late twentieth century, the collection of over 22,000 artworks includes masterpieces by some of the greatest artists in history. Paintings on canvas, panel, ivory, copper, and in fresco are matched by sculpture and works of decorative art, including furniture, metalwork, ceramics and glass, and architectural elements.