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Monday, April 09, 2012

The MFA and Art Smith

Last week I went to the MFA here in Boston for my first real look at the expansion. I had worked there for a few years and left just as the new wings were being opened, but I never really got to explore them, so I decided it was time. The Art of the Americas wing is awesome. It's a really great space and has interactive exhibits around, giving visitors a look at some behind the scenes work that goes on in a museum, a chance to rearrange the composition of paintings in the collection on a screen to better understand and see meaning, and even a chance to vote on if the museum should add an antique sewing machine to the collection (I voted yes).

One of the best things to have seen was so many individual pieces the museum has finally out on display. They have a stunning collection of American Art, but it was rarely seen. Sure, a piece or two would make an appearance in a temporary exhibit, but essentially what they had was hidden away from the public. Wandering through the new wing there were a number of pieces I recognized from former temporary exhibits.

I even stumbled upon one of my favorites, a necklace from jeweler Art Smith. I instantly recognized the piece, I had stared at it a few years ago when the museum had a jewelry exhibit while I was still on staff. I absolutely love his style. It's like bohemian art nouveau; lively, fun, and decorative, but still grounded and simple. The lack of glitz and glam is apparent by Smith's use of stones instead of gems, and is completely up my alley. Someday, I hope to have a home filled with crafts and I would be ecstatic to have a piece of his included.

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