Founded in 1870 and expanded several times since, the MFA possesses an exceptional collection of American Art with a special concentration of Boston’s own, including John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer and Fitz Henry Lane. The impressionists are well represented, as are collections of European decorative arts, dating from the 17th Century. Of particular note: the 42-foot-tall glass sculpture, Lime Green Icicle Tower, by critically acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly, mesmerizes in the courtyard.
Always great for a visit AND the MFA has been doing a lot of events like summer movies on the lawn (what this picture is). Would highly recommend this event, especially since it’s free! I would get there around an hour and half before the movie starts with a blanket so you can get a good spot. Lots of food and live music on the lawn before the movie starts.
Massive Art Museum, simply a labyrinth. Clean, well organized, and some very special pieces. Also, they have seasonal/temp. exhibits that keep you coming back. Tips, street parking is much much cheaper than the garage if you can find it (earlier the better). Also, pick up coupons at your local library for discounted rates. Can also use City Pass or Go Boston to help reduce the cost. I typically spend 2-3 hours there, and I've been there a number of times before.
First off, this museum is very large. Whether that's a pro or a con, I'll leave up to the visitor. We spent about four hours there and only got through the visiting Casanova exhibit, some of the antiquities, and the exhibit on American colonial life. My suggestion would be to pick a couple things you must see, go to them first, and then wander. The museum can be difficult to navigate, partially due to size but also because connecting sections are/were closed. That caused some frustration at closing time, as we got lost trying to find the exit and the staff that were herding visitors out were a bit brusque about it. The exhibits we saw were well displayed and seemingly maintained, though even with the large gallery rooms it got crowded at the more popular ones. Many of the non-painting exhibits are not in a case, so I would caution parents bringing children to keep an eye out for wandering hands/feet. Some rooms have many display pillars out on the floor so - lacking much experience myself - I would be a bit nervous bringing a wheelchair/crutches in. Overall though, a very nice museum with a lot to see. I plan to go back at some point to visit the wings I missed.
Definitely will take several hours to feel like you have seen a good portion of the museum. You will not be able to see it all in one day. On the day we went, the ticket was good for a return visit within 10 days. I'm not sure if tickets are always good for return. The restaurant was great.
To be fair, my rating is from only one visit to what seemed to be only a fraction of what the museum had to offer. I am excited to return again soon since the shows that I saw were interestingly curated in an overall beautiful space. I appreciated how nearly every work had a detailed description of the artist’s perspective or intent or how the piece was important to the exhibition. The entry fee is a bit steep, but I believe you can revisit within 10 days of your ticket purchase. Perhaps better value if you can plan two outings there on your visit to Boston!