Museum of Fine Art (Boston)

I’m back! For our anniversary we took an overnight trip to Boston via the *train*. I’ve always wanted to go on an actual train, and I finally did. It was great, there was a dining car with tables which was fun. Not like the Hogwarts Express….I’d like to ride a train like that sometime too, but it was good, and a much less stressful way to get into Boston than driving.
We went to Faneuil Hall Marketplace (I like to call it Quincy Market, but it’s officially that <<) after we checked into our hotel, and stumbled upon some kind of street fair. The inside was really crowded so we walked around the outside and found a *huge* Newbury Comics store and hung out in there for a while drooling and finally bought the first Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. Then took the subway back to our hotel and ate at the Cheesecake factory for dinner.
The next day (our actual anniversary) we wandered around the area trying to find the Museum of Fine art, only to discover  – 4 hours later- that it was in the complete opposite direction. So after we walked around Prudential Center and ate lunch at P.F. Chang’s, we hopped on the subway and went to the museum (which was having a free admission day for memorial day).
The Museum
I should say that I’ve never been to an art museum before – at least, not that I remember. I opted out of the Smithsonian art museum for the Air and Space one last time I had a chance (several years ago, before I realized I still loved art). So Alex and I were both really excited to go to the one in Boston. It was amazing, and I came to a really important realization – one that I knew but was never able to fully understand until I went.

It’s hard to make museum quality art when you’ve never been exposed to it.

Exposure is crucial, at least, I think so – because google images only helps so much. It’s hard for me to really get a feel for Picaso, or Van Gogh, or  Martin Johnson Heade (and so many others) without having seen the art in real life. The pictures really don’t do justice to the amount of detail and effort and care put into the paintings. It was an amazing feeling, entering a museum for the first time, and being drawn to particular pieces and inspired to create more (and better) art myself.

I found a plaque about the Aesthetic movement that sort of nailed my perspective on art – or at least, the way I create it.

I appreciate art that tells stories – like the mural LePage took down, or Picaso – but what inspires and motivates me to create is not social commentary (as great as that is) but beauty.

Good art did not need a moralizing story or a historical narrative; beauty alone was sufficient.

And this is what I generally try to achieve. I don’t try to communicate a moral lesson or obvious metaphor – I try to let the feel of the painting and the loveliness itself say it all. I’m not sure how good I am at that or how much of the back story (like in Burning Shadows) comes through. But that said, the focus of my pieces, when I make them, is not message centered. So, it was cool that it was/is actually a thing, that there was a movement that was less concerned about message and more concerned about beauty, and I feel like I kinda fit in there.
The unintended side affect of the art museum was the self confidence boost. I realize that a lot of the people who will read this might be irked at what I’m about to say, so let me stop here and mention something: if you disagree, that’s fine, I’m not going to get into a debate about it or the right or wrongness of art in this form, I can not change your perspective and I won’t try – this is just something that I noticed and that has inspired me – as an artist and as a woman. So please keep your comments intended to debate the idea to yourself, or find another outlet for it. 🙂
I’ve touched on the subject of figure (or nude) drawings before, but I’ve never seen them in real life. Until yesterday.
There were so many beautiful portraits and sculptures depicting people – with all their perfections and imperfections. Women with stomachs like mine, people with insecurities and yet, unhindered beauty. There were so many pieces, but I only managed to take a photo of one, “Ariadne”.

You can’t even see the level of detail on Ariadne in this picture – painstaking. Every individual line. I loved that the people forever captured in the pieces were perfect in their imperfection. People have bodies – and it wasn’t just female forms captured by the artists, but men and women – in their awkward and honest beauty – with wrinkles and flab and everything that we look our selves and think is unworthy and yet here, it’s all captured, and when you look at it, you see yourself, and your imperfections, and the very things that you’re self-conscious about, and then you find that it’s beautiful. Even when you go home and you see your scars and you still feel fat and bloated and unattractive and imperfect, it’s beautiful. You’re still beautiful…I’m still beautiful, with my hormones and bloating that won’t go away, and the weird scars on my legs from an infection a few years ago…if I were captured in a drawing, if I could look at myself and see, really see myself and not just look at the areas I don’t like…I think I’d finally know (like really know, not just know that Alex thinks so, but inside) that I was beautiful too.
In the future, I hope to explore this more – the Museum of Fine Art was probably the best thing I’ve done for myself art wise so far (apart from starting to paint) I hope to go to more someday, definitely hitting the one in Portland. I feel like I learned so much yesterday that I’m just now beginning to realize, and I can’t wait to keep going.


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