School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts

Coordinates: 42°20′19″N 71°05′48″W / 42.33856°N 71.09676°W / 42.33856; -71.09676
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School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
Parent institution
Tufts University
DeanScheri Fultineer
Academic staff
135 full- and part-time [1]
Location, ,
United States

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Museum School, SMFA at Tufts, or SMFA; formerly the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) is the art school of Tufts University, a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees dedicated to the visual arts.

It is affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. SMFA is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of several dozen leading art schools in the United States.[2] The school is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.[2]


The Weems Center, part of Graham Gund's expansion, looking down from the third floor

The school was founded in 1876 under the name School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA).[2] From 1876 to 1909, the school was housed in the basement of the original Museum building in Copley Square. When the Museum moved to Huntington Avenue in 1909, the School moved into a separate, temporary structure to the west of the main building. The permanent building, designed by Guy Lowell, was completed in 1927. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) red brick building provided improved classroom, studio and library facilities.

In 1945 the Museum School and Tufts College collaborated to develop their first joint degree teacher training granting program. The creation of additional programs between the two institutions followed soon after.

In 1987, a newly renovated and expanded school building, designed by architect Graham Gund, more than doubled the size of the existing structure and provided an auditorium, enlarged library, expanded studios and classrooms, a spacious new entrance, cafeteria, and increased gallery and exhibition spaces. Gund's expansion included the central atrium, known as the Katherine Lane Weems Atrium, that connects the two buildings.

In December 2015, it was announced that the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston would become a part of Tufts University and on June 30, 2016 the integration was completed.[3]

With the late-2022 opening of the Green Line Extension of the MBTA Green Line E branch light rail transit route, there is a direct connection between the SMFA Campus and the main campus of Tufts University in Medford.


Encouraged to build an individual program of interdisciplinary study, students are not asked to declare a major, but by choosing among in-depth courses in a dozen disciplines and mediums, students are free to concentrate in the areas that best align with their interests. Courses are offered in the following areas: animation, ceramics, digital media, drawing, film and video, graphic arts, installation, metals, painting, performance, photography, print and paper, sculpture, sound, virtual reality, and visual and material studies.[4]

One of the unique attributes of SMFA is that students are required to participate in a "Review Board" which is a review of all of the art work that a student has done during the semester. Review Boards are led by two faculty members and two fellow students. There are many opportunities for students to exhibit their artwork at both the main building and the Mission Hill building.

Opportunities to exhibit works include the annual Art Sale and the juried "Student Annual Exhibition". Various galleries and spaces that are available to students around the school buildings include Bag Gallery, Hallway Gallery, Bathroom Gallery, Underground Gallery, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The school's main campus building, 230 the Fenway, is adjacent to and just to the west of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Most classroom space is located, as well as the SMFA Cafe, the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library, the School's Art Store, and the Grossman Gallery, which is part of the Tufts University Art Galleries' exhibition space. The Mission Hill building, located about a quarter mile from the main building, recently has been renovated and includes studio spaces for graduate and post-baccalaureate students as well as classrooms, workshops, and the Writing Center.

W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library[edit]

The Clark Library at SMFA is the fine arts branch of Tufts University's Tisch Library. According to its website, the Clark Library collection's contents focus heavily "on contemporary art and studio practice".[5]

Notable faculty[edit]

Painting & Drawing faculty[edit]

Performance faculty[edit]

Photography faculty[edit]

Sculpture faculty[edit]

Other faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Performance artists groups[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Tufts University Fast Facts". Tufts University. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bowditch, Alexandra (2020-05-28). "SMFA at Tufts Announces As Above, So Below, a Virtual MFA Thesis Exhibition". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  3. ^ Gay, Malcolm (December 21, 2015). "Tufts University to take control of MFA's art school - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  4. ^ February 2024
  5. ^ "The W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library". School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University. Tufts University. Retrieved 2023-01-14.
  6. ^ a b University of Illinois, College of Fine and Applied Arts (1950). Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture. The University of Michigan. pp. 41, 175.
  7. ^ a b David B. Dearinger, Paintings and Sculpture at the National Academy of Design, Volume 1, 1826–1925 (Hudson Hills Publishing, 2004), pp. 230-31.
  8. ^ John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery
  9. ^ 1896-97 Annual Report of the Permanent Committee in Charge of the School By Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School
  10. ^ Vitello, Paul (2014-11-01). "David Armstrong, Photographer of Subcultures, Dies at 60 (Published 2014)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  11. ^ "ALON BEMEMT, A PAINTER, IS DEAD; Former Dean of Traphagen School of Fashion Had Led Art and Industry Alliance". Times Machine. The New York Times. 1954-11-24. p. 23. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  12. ^ "Drawn to her animals - Arts - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. 2011-11-21. Archived from the original on 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  13. ^ "Archives of American Art, Smithsonian". Philip Leslie Hale papers, Biographical Note.
  14. ^ Severens, Martha (1999). William Halsey. Greenville County Museum of Art. p. 14. ISBN 096032464X.
  15. ^ "Laurel Nakadate Biography". Retrieved 2021-02-23.

External links[edit]

42°20′19″N 71°05′48″W / 42.33856°N 71.09676°W / 42.33856; -71.09676