McMullen Museum of Art

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McMullen Museum of Art is the university art museum of Boston College in Brighton, Massachusetts, near the main campus in Chestnut Hill.

The Museum holds an extensive permanent collection, which spans the history of art from Europe, Asia and the Americas, and has significant representation of Gothic and Baroque tapestries, Italian paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, and American paintings of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Well-known artists represented in the Museum include Amedeo Modigliani, Frank Stella, Françoise Gilot, Alexander Ney, and John La Farge.

Despite being a university art museum presiding on a college campus, the McMullen Museum of Art organizes multidisciplinary exhibitions that have received national and international recognition. Stephen Kinzer of The New York Times has written that it is in the vanguard of museums creating exhibitions that "reach far beyond traditional art history," providing political, historical, and cultural context for works on view.[1]

The Taking of Christ (1602) from the collections of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, was a major draw at the McMullen Museum's 1999 exhibition "Saints and Sinners".

Recent significant exhibitions include "Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections" (2016) and "Saints and Sinners" (1999), featuring Caravaggio's The Taking of the Christ, which reportedly attracted the largest audience for any university museum exhibition up to that time. "Edvard Munch: Psyche, Symbol, and Expression" (2001) was the largest American exhibition of Munch's work since 1978. A retrospective of the work of Surrealist Roberto Matta (2004), organized by university faculty from the romance languages, art history, and theology departments, was also well received. Most recently, "Pollock Matters" (2007) received much media attention, comprising over 150 paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures, exploring the personal and artistic relationship between famed American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock and noted Swiss-born photographer and graphic designer Herbert Matter.

The McMullen Museum of Art reopen for its fall 2012 season with the exhibition "Paul Klee: Philosophical Vision; From Nature to Art".

The museum, which opened in Devlin Hall in 1993, was officially named The Charles S. and Isabella V. McMullen Museum of Art in 1996 in honor of the parents of the Boston College benefactor, trustee and art collector John J. McMullen.

In September 2016, the museum relocated to 2101 Commonwealth Avenue on Boston College's Brighton Campus. The new facility features nearly three times the exhibition space of its previous location in Devlin Hall, state-of-the art lighting, movable walls, humidity and climate control, and extensive storage for the museum's growing permanent collection.

Portugal, Jesuits, and Japan[edit]

Portugal, Jesuits, and Japan: Spiritual Beliefs and Earthly Goods opened in the McMullen Museum on February 16, 2013. It was curated by Victoria Weston and Alexandra Curvelo, and was underwritten by Boston College, the Patrons of the McMullen Museum, Leslie and Peter Ciampi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, the Consulate General of Portugal in Boston, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

The exhibit focuses on nearly a century of interaction, beginning in 1543, between the Japanese people and the Portuguese, namely traders and Jesuit missionaries. Tracing shifts in the dichotomy of this relationship through the exchange of earthly goods and beliefs, Portugal, Jesuits, And Japan paints a winsome, complex, and devastating portrait of a provincial fascination.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ARTS IN AMERICA; More-Ambitious Art Shows and Catalogs on Campus". The New York Times. 11 December 2002. 
  2. ^ "Jesuits In Portugal: History And Art". The Heights, the independent student newspaper of Boston College. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°20′07″N 71°10′11″W / 42.3352°N 71.1696°W / 42.3352; -71.1696