Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 23, 2021

© Museum of Fine Art, Boston

Room in Brooklyn (1932) by American painter Edward Hopper.

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Boston blue bloods and Maya kings

If you're headed to Beantown, you'll want to visit the Museum of Fine Arts where a long-awaited US$345-million wing for the Art of the Americas just opened. The new space doubles the number of iconic American artwork on display (from portraits of Paul Revere to action paintings by Jackson Pollock) to 5000 items.

But what's really exciting is that the museum is aiming to put American art in the context of the work of all peoples of North, Central and South America, from ancient times to the late 20th century — a huge mandate that no other museum has taken on.

The new addition was designed by British architects Foster & Partners — the firm behind London's sci-fi city hall. The airy modern wing keeps a low profile while extending the museum's Beaux Arts building. As visitors travel from the ground level up, they will also move forward in time. Exhibitions will be arranged both thematically and by period style, while mixing paintings and sculptures with furniture, decorative objects and musical instruments.

Among the must-see pieces are a classic painting by Impressionist portraitist John Singer Sargent, a 1000-year-old gold pendant for a Columbian king, the work of an Abstract Experssionist master from Argentina, and a 19th-century quilt made by an ex-slave.

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