Boston’s MFA: Museum Of Fine(anced) Arts

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has some new blockbuster mojo with its Mario Testino: In Your Face exhibit, a natural heir to its Herb Ritts and Ralph Lauren hoedowns.

But something else is a natural heir: The MFA’s increasing reliance on corporate sponsorships for its so-called artistic offerings.

Exhibit Umpteen: This Boston Globe ad from the MFA’s current blanket marketing campaign.

The fine(anced) print:

“Mario Testino: In Your Face” is co-sponsored by Swarovski and Stuart Weitzman.

“Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits” is co-sponsored by Stuart Weitzman and Swarovski.

Sponsored by Sheraton Boston Hotel. Additional support provided by the Benjamin A. Trustman and Julia M. Trustman Fund.

That last is for the Kings, Queens, and Courtiers exhibit, a modest showing that “serves as a complement to and provides a broader historical context for Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits on view concurrently in the Ritts Gallery.”

See? It all fits together like a watch.

Or at least the way a watch used to fit together.

So what do the sponsors get out of this arrangement?

Major promotional opportunities for Stuart Weitzman and Swarovski, for starters.

And the MFA?

Major bucks for promotional opportunities.

Don’t get us wrong: Director Malcolm Rogers has done impressive work at the MFA, from the new American Wing to the new Contemporary Wing.

The only question is: At what price?




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7 Responses to Boston’s MFA: Museum Of Fine(anced) Arts

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    Remember, John, most of the finest art in the world was paid for by special interests.

    I do think that an exhibition on The Last Supper brought to you by Legal Sea Foods is a bit much, but it it both preserves the art and makes it available for public viewing, is there much about which to complain?

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Yeah, Mudge, but Mario Testino ain’t no Last Supper.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        Now you are getting into the definition of “art”.

        I understand that you and Mrs. CO have a broad interest a eclectic interest in art, but one also needs to be able to call “art” trash when it warrants.

        It would be nice if art critics were more discerning at times.

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Just to be clear, yes? I don’t believe the Mario Testino exhibit should be in a major museum. But that’s just me.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        From what I have read of your understanding of art, I doubt that we will be taking in this exhibit.

    • Sounds like a Dylan lyric.

      Mario Testino ain’t no Last Supper
      Girl was too fat, gave her an upper
      Pulled up her shirt and pulled down her drawers
      She was somebody’s daughter, now he’s coming for yours.


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