A Day at the MFA

By Danielle Clark

The views expressed in this piece are my own and are not representative of the BSU Honors Program community as a whole.

Mural ceiling in the MFA. Photo by Danielle Clark
Mural ceiling in the MFA. Photo by Danielle Clark

On Wednesday, November 6th, I joined other members of the honors program and visited the Museum of Fine Arts. After having a quick meal at BSU, we boarded the two vans and drove to Boston. When my friend and I entered the museum, we were immediately in awe of the amazing artwork. Marble sculptures, oil paintings, and ceiling murals caught our attention. Every piece was tremendously beautiful and ornate.

We walked deeper into the museum, delving into the creative minds of artists all around the world. First, my friend and I visited rooms that displayed ancient Portuguese and tribal African art. Bronze sculptures of warriors lined the walls as if they were standing in battle formation. Other African carvings and sculptures depicted women, showing their importance, beauty, and reverence. Across the way was a display case with various African jewelry and accessories on one side and uniquely shaped weapons on the other. One of the swords displayed was bent almost like a “W”, showing how much effort went into military tactics and craftsmanship. It was truly ingenious.

“Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism” by Josiah McElheny

Wandering into another room of this maze-like art building, I found the modern photography of Herb Ritts. Photos of actors like Matthew McConaughey, Drew Barrymore, etc. My friend and I continue to search through the more modern art—art that begs you to sit and contemplate what it means. The piece by Josiah McElheny called “Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism” hypnotized me. The sculpture was a large silver-colored box with rectangular windows on four sides. Each window had a row of chrome vases and bottles inside. Mirrors were on all sides of the little sculptures, making their images recede infinitely inside the window display.

Going back in time once more, I went down to the Class Distinctions exhibit, showcasing Dutch paintings from the 17th century. I was able to see the contrasts between the upper and labor class. Some of the silk drapery on the women of the upper class was so detailed that it looked real. It was as if I could reach into the painting and feel the smooth fabric.

Towards the end of the trip, my friend and I saw an Indian dance performance for the Diwali holiday. Four women skilled in this dancing art form revealed the stories and techniques behind each dance. One dance was a story of Krishna defeating Kaliya the serpent. The steps, the spins, and the sways were all carried out with such accuracy. I found it fascinating, and the dance was beautiful.

The MFA is a place of artistic expression and multicultural harmony. The art there in its various media was eye-catching and enriching. It helped me to appreciate and admire other cultures’ histories. I certainly want to visit again in the future. I’m happy the honors program provided me an opportunity to go there.

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