Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Trip to Boston

I just got back from a business trip to Boston. While I was there I made a quick visit to the Museum of Fine Arts to see their collections again. It has been a few years since I did so and I wanted to say hello to a few “old friends”.

The MFA has one of the world’s best collections of Egyptian antiquities, but I want to talk about their small and less well known collection of Near Eastern art today. The collection has been installed in a new gallery since I last saw it. The old display was dark and located in an out-of-the-way corner of the museum, but the new display is brightly lit and quite modern looking, and is much more visible to the average visitor.

The collection includes some good carvings from Persepolis, Urartian Bronzes and some very nice Early Bronze Age Funerary Jewelry with Egyptian motifs that was found in Turkey. There are also some Assyrian carvings from Nineveh (reign of Sennacherib) and diorite head of Gudea (ca. 2200 – 2100 B.C.). A nice Neolithic stone vessel in the shape of a hare is (I believe) the oldest object in the MFA. Over all, this is an interesting, if small collection. It is probably not worth a separate trip to Boston to see it, but it is well worth while seeing if you happen to be visiting the museum anyway.

I also realize that the main thrust of this blog is Near Eastern Art, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the wonderful collection of Chinese ceramics that the MFA has. There are quite a number of exquisite painted cups (mostly Ching Dynasty) which must be seen to be believed. The painting on these cups is highly detailed and quite beautiful.

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