In 1967, Time Magazine called #RudiGernreich “the most way-out, far-ahead designer in the U.S.,” for his radical approach to women’s fashion and unisex design. A former dancer, he was keenly interested in the liberation provided by the elasticized knits that had revolutionized swimwear and sportswear. Gernreich believed that as women achieved more freedom, men’s and women’s fashion would more closely align.
Actress and dancer Loïe Fuller commissioned three posters from Jules Chéret, the most successful poster designer of his day—including this work from the MFA’s collection, currently on view in “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris.” Produced in 1893, “Folies-Bergère, La Loïe Fuller” recently underwent extensive conservation.
The poster was lined with linen sometime in the early 20th century. Over time, the lining began to delaminate, resulting in pieces falling off. MFA conservators started treatment by removing the failed linen backing, followed by bathing the work in deionized water to reduce staining and discoloration. Tears were mended and losses inserted with toned paper. The final steps were applying a new lining of Japanese paper and retouching with watercolors. See the newly restored work in the final gallery of the exhibition, dedicated to the #StarsofParis. #mfaConservation
Do you have a work of art from our collection that you'd like to learn more about? This post is for @invisible_waa, who requested any work associated with classical music 👋 Comment with your requests, and we'll plan on featuring your choice in a future post! 💌
In the winter months, Paris' Cirque d’Hiver served as an auditorium for popular concerts of classical music, organized in 1861 by Jules Pasdeloup, who championed modern composers such as Richard Wagner and Gabriel Fauré. #JohnSingerSargent, an ardent amateur musician, frequently attended rehearsals. This picture is his most abstract treatment of music. The monochromatic palette, loose brushstrokes, and energetic composition suggest both the dance of musical notes across a page and the vital sound of the music itself.
Pictured: "Rehearsal of the Pasdeloup Orchestra at the Cirque d’Hiver" (about 1879–80), oil on canvas, John Singer Sargent
Do you have a work of art from our collection that you'd like to learn more about? This post is for @mfmorrison, who requested "Lighthouse Walk at Biarritz" (1906) by Joaquín Sorolla 👋 Comment with your requests, and we'll plan on featuring your choice in a future post! 💌
Sorolla was a leading Spanish Impressionist, and frequently exhibited in Paris. The artist's free, dynamic brushwork inspired critics to refer to him as the "Spanish Sargent." His depiction of pleasurable pastimes, such as this leisurely walk by the sea, attracted a large American audience at the turn of the century. Many of Sorolla's most important works, including a huge mural cycle in New York's Hispanic Society of America, are in the United States.
Bicycling was a major fad in Paris in the 1890s, with Parisians both cycling for pleasure and attending races at tracks like the Vélodrome Buffalo, where this image is set. #ToulouseLautrec often attended races with his friend Tristan Bernard, who managed the Vélodrome. See this poster in our exhibition "Toulouse-Lautrec and the #StarsofParis." Pictured: "La Châine Simpson Bicycle Chains" (1896), lithograph
We're excited to debut a new star of the MFA's collection: a gold, ruby and amethyst starfish brooch (1937) designed by Juliette Moutard for the Parisian house René Boivin. Once owned by the Hollywood star Claudette Colbert, the iconic piece of jewelry is lifelike in both scale and movement, with each of its five arms fully articulated to mimic the crawling movement of a real starfish. The ornament's extraordinary design, craftsmanship and history make it a significant addition to the Museum's growing collection of 20th-century jewelry.
This week's fan favorite goes to @laceyhowlindphotography, who captured this picture-perfect moment of a little visitor having a blast at MFA Playdates. Enter your photos for next week's fan favorite by using #mfaBoston!
Thank you to everyone who came to the Museum to see #FridaKahlo and Arte Popular! The exhibition closed last night at our annual Juneteenth celebration, after nearly 230,000 visits by art lovers from Boston and around the world. We’re thrilled that you chose to be a part of it. 📷: @vallellita28
#JacksonPollock’s “Mural” has arrived at the MFA! On loan from @uistanleymuseum, the largest painting Pollock ever made will go on view July 1, juxtaposed with a newly commissioned work by German painter Katharina Grosse. Thanks to our facilities crew for helping to install the exhibition!
We’re excited to share that our senior designer @chelsea_garunay has received the Gold Prize in the #GrandsPrix, an international competition for the best museum exhibition design of the year. Chelsea has been recognized for her work on #GenderBendingFashion, currently on view in the Linde Family Wing for #ContemporaryArt. “We wanted to create a project in which people from different walks of life could see themselves and their experiences reflected, respected and even honored,” she says. “We were intent on creating a celebratory setting, engaging retrofuturism as a visual theme to connect the current moment to historical precedents and the imaginative exuberance of what the future could be.” #mfaVoices Congrats to Chelsea and the “Gender Bending Fashion” team, including curator Michelle Finamore (@lovefashionhistory), head of interpretation Adam Tessier, graphic designer Eben Haines (@ebenhaines), manager of exhibition and gallery displays George Scharoun (@gscharoun), and design studio manager Quinn Papazian (@museummosaics)! 📷: Photo of Chelsea by @maggiealoh, installation photos by @michaelblanchard