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Boston's MFA - Degas and the Nude (October '11 to Feb '12)

Boston's MFA - Degas and the Nude (October '11 to Feb '12)

Oct 10th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Boston's MFA - Degas and the Nude (October '11 to Feb '12)

If you are anywhere near Boston in the next 4 months, get yourself to the exhibit "Degas and the Nude" at the Museum of Fine Arts. This is George Shackleford's last exhibit before he departs the MFA for Houston (sniff, sniff!) and it's just wonderful. I went Friday night for member previews and was just blown away. There are over 80 pieces from painting to pastel to sketches and sculpture that mindfully trace how Degas worked with nudes throughout his career. I always get the audio guides, particularly for Shackleford's exhibitions, because they are so well done. This was no exception. He has a way of designing a show that just makes sense and tells the story. Even as a fan of Degas, I learned more than I expected and was sad when I'd reached the end. I will go again a couple times, I'm sure before the exhibit closes, but I was glad to have the relative peace and quiet of a near-empty gallery last week to enjoy this on my own!

What is striking though is that there are two other notable Degas exhibits on now as well, "Dancers at the Barre" at the Phillips Collection in DC, which I hope to see next month, and "Ballerinas Picturing Movementt" at the Royal Academy in London which I'm itching to try to get to before December. That Degas was both so prolific and so accomplished with both the nude and ballerinas as his subjects that three significant exhibits can run around the world like this is exceptional.
amyb is offline  
Oct 10th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Thanks for the review Amy. I'm hoping to get to see that exhibit sometime this fall.
china_cat is offline  
Oct 10th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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AMY- you seem well in formed about upcoming art exhibits---How do you find this info???
I live in Calif.and belong to San Francisco Art museums...however all this gives me is access to their exhibits. I do go on line and check surrounding venues. I "stumbled" on exhibit traveling to the Kimball in Ft. Worth from Toronto--has some Caravaggios. I may get to this--as will never get to the Uffizi in Florence where most of his painting are found. Are you a particular fan of Degas or just art in general?
traveler24 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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I read a lot of art blogs and read the major US newspapers for reviews. One useful online source is artdaily.com, but from that I just make note of when something is coming through that I'm interested in. For example, I found out about a Rembrandt exhibit in Philly I'm heading to next weekend all the way back in February and just put it on the calendar. Plus, my sister's in the museum business, so that helps to have her ear to the ground too.

One other thing I do is "Like" on Facebook all the major art museums around the world and watch their new feeds. Many times an exhibit somewhere else will be passing by nearby as part of a grand tour. So for me there's no one source, but I just keep an eye open online.

I prefer Impressionists, but also enjoy Vermeer and Rembrandt (and lately "discovered", Metsu), Caravaggio, Spanish Masters, Sargent.... ;-)
amyb is offline  
Oct 26th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Bumping because the Clark Institute out in Williamstown, MA is opening "Rembrandt and Degas, Two Young Artists" in November in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Combining two of my interests, it'll show how Rembrandt's work influenced Degas. The Clark did one similar a year or so ago of Picasso and Degas, in conjunction with the Met, which was wonderful.
amyb is offline  
Oct 28th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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amby...thanks for the comments on Degas exhibit at MFA. Plus tip about a good audio. We must plan for that. You are really into art I see. I do enjoy seeing Impressionists and other painters you've mentioned. Often to Art Institute in Chicago and St. Louis Art Museum living many years in Middle West...and now after moving to Watertown appreciating MFA.

We have been to Clark Institute and as you can see from my report I was amazed by the number of Renoirs...still on loan I wonder? Also recently to Monet's Garden and Orangerie in Paris.

But so much for active retirees to do and see in Bostonland!

Ozarksbill is offline  
Oct 30th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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The last time I was at the Clark, most of their Renoirs were on loan to the Prado for a "treasures of the Clark" exhibition there, which was quite significant but obviously a bummer to those going to the Clark at the time! I think they are back now, though.

Monet's garden at Giverny was a highlight for me as well, but seeing the massive Monet exhibition last December in Paris was just breathtaking, so many in one place at one time, and if that were not enough, the Marmottan museum was also doing its own Monet exhibition at the same time.

I'm also looking forward the Aphrodite show at the MFA, which just opened or is about to open. I will try to get there one of these weeknights when it's less crowded. Great discussion on it by Sebastian Smee in today's Globe.
amyb is offline  
Jan 4th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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I finally got to the MFA right before New years. The Degas exhibit was, indeed, quite wonderful. And Amy, I agree, the audio guide was particularly well done.

We were also able to see the Aphrodite show, which I have to say I didn't enjoy as much. Its very small, and I didn't find many pieces I particularly enjoyed. I also found the audio guide for this uninteresting. it was readings about Aphrodite for each piece and they just weren't very compelling or poetic.

And finally, we caught some of "The Clock" before it closed, and this was fantastic. In case you haven't heard of it, Christian Maclay's "The Clock" is 24 hours worth of movie and TV clips about time shown in real time. So if you go in at 3:10, you see a clip of Christian Bale complaining about the 3:10 to Yuma, followed by a clip of James Bond looking at his watch at 3:11, and so on. Its hard to describe, but I really loved it. We arrived shortly after 3 and stayed about an hour. I would have liked to go in and out but the line was prohibitively long.

Not sure where it is going next, but if you get a chance to see some of it, I highly recommend it.
china_cat is offline  
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