Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s 150th Anniversary Honors the Past and Reimagines the Future

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced a slate of initiatives for its 150th anniversary in 2020, driven by a deepened commitment to inclusion, community, and generosity. The yearlong celebration aims to bring more people closer to art and the MFA—signaling aspirations for the Museum’s future.

“The MFA’s 150th anniversary is a moment to honor our past and reimagine our future. The Museum was founded with a spirit of generosity and belief in the power of art and artists—values that remain among the pillars of today’s MFA,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “But as we look ahead, we will help define the changing role of museums in society and the role of artists in everyday life. We will amplify our efforts toward becoming a truly inclusive institution, committed to the importance of art in all of our lives and to a new sense of urgency in engaging with the issues of our time.”

A group of Boston’s civic leaders created the Museum in 1870 as a public place for discovery, the enjoyment of art, and celebration of artists. Since then, the MFA has grown to house a global collection, which will be highlighted during the 150th anniversary year in exhibitions ranging from “Ancient Nubia Now,” shining a light on the powerful yet historically misinterpreted kingdoms on the Nile, to the “Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family and Friends,” featuring works by some of the greatest masters from the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, to “Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits,” organized in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

In its 150th year, the Museum will also forge deeper connections with the local community, launching a free first-year membership program—an invitation to everyone to make the MFA their own. Throughout 2020, the Museum will engage community members and local artists as co-creators on various opportunities for convening and celebration, from a teen-curated exhibition of 20th-century art by artists of color from the Americas to a community mural project—initiatives that lay foundations for future ambitions.

Learn more about the 2020 events at

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