By Amir Boulos
The Museum of Fine Arts is in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1876 in one of the oldest American cities. However, bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles have taken larger portions of the American population, dazzling viewers with skyscrapers and lots of lights. Boston has stayed humble, with its quaint buildings dicing narrow streets. And…..
We got the MFA. That’s right. The MFA.
Best Impressionist section in the world.
No, actually, the MFA has the best Impressionist section in the United States.
The Impressionists were the original Avant-Gardes. I have always looked up to the rebels in history and, here, in the quaint, controlled city of Boston, we have the best showcase of the most famous art rebels. Is Boston controlled or rebellious? I’m not sure. The Museum of Fine Arts is no flashy show. We have the occasional exciting exhibition like Takashi Murakami last year, but it is more usually like the Winnie the Pooh exhibition we have currently. Our Impressionist stars put the team on their back and as soon as you drift through their section, you have already been tackled by a 300 pound linebacker – one of differing light.
As you walk down the first hallway in the section, you see the contrast between Renoir’s vividness on the left and Sisley’s more subtle work on the right. Pissarro and Cezanne come next down the hall in a more harmonious manner with their Post-Impressionist styles. Paul Signac wraps it up with some more modern Neo-Impressionism for the touchdown. Through the narrow walls, you have somehow walked down a sunrise and experienced the satisfaction of a beautiful natural scene. It is like the Chestnut Hill Reservoir during a sunny fall day, like the breath of relief from the constant buzz of the city. The earthy feeling of warmth and light in such a scene is a breath of fresh air in the beige-grey architectural context of the MFA.
The relatable subjects hit that nerve of nostalgia or serene bliss. Students need that on those gloomy, cold days with finals up ahead and social drama on their backs. I could bore you with the details of each piece, but that sensation is why I frequent the MFA.
You also have the adjoining rooms with Monet’s Lilies, Monet’s Haystacks, Van Gogh’s House, and Degas’ Dancers. So many of the most impressive pieces by some of the Impressionist movement’s greatest artists have had such an impact.
These kinds of pieces make a student like me want to keep achieving, to give that extra push, to have the chance to have even a tenth of the influence as these legends. So, I go to the Museum of Fine Arts for that happy familiar feeling and the sheer impact of those Impressionist rooms.