- For Members
The Athenæum and the Museum in Boston
February 13 - August 3, 2013
“… [a] charming, handsomely mounted show… . Valuable as ‘Brilliant Beginnings’ is as a chapter in Boston history, it’s even more so as a kind of time capsule of a moment in the history of taste.” The Boston Globe, March 3, 2013
This exhibition celebrates the historic partnership between the Boston Athenæum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), in the years surrounding the museum’s founding in 1870. The closest ally to the early MFA, the Athenæum housed the nascent museum’s early exhibitions, placed a major portion of its art collection at the MFA’s new building in 1876, and remained an indispensable partner to the younger institution into the 1880s.
This exhibition showcases diverse artifacts that remain in the Athenæum’s collection from this erstwhile alliance—paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, photographs, decorative arts, and archival materials—and places them in their historical contexts.
Admission: Members free; non-members $5.00
IMAGES: Clockwise from upper left: Enrico Meneghelli (1853–after 1912), Picture Gallery of the Boston Athenæum (detail), 1876. Athenæum purchase, 1876; Cloisonné vase, Chinese, Qianlong era (1735–1796). Athenæum purchase, 1875; Enrico Meneghelli, Hall of the Maidens, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, at Copley Square, with Casts from the Boston Athenæum (detail), 1899. Athenæum purchase, 1998; and Letter pouch (detail), Italian, 17th century. Athenæum purchase, 1876