THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS drew raves last year when it unveiled the new Art of the Americas Wing. But that was playing to its strength. This month, MFA director Malcolm Rogers addresses its weakness by opening the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. Au courant works have long been a trouble spot for the stuffy Fenway institution. But with 21,250 square feet of space now dedicated to contemporary art — triple the previous amount — that’s about to change.
The new wing is a reconfigured version of the one designed by I. M. Pei in 1981. Instead of the rotating shows it used to house, it’ll now be a permanent home for both legends (Andy Warhol) and more-recent stars (Rachel Whiteread).
The MFA is playing catch-up here because fusty old Hub collectors are just catching up themselves. Bostonians, though, have at last woken up to the avant garde. “There is now a generation of contemporary collectors growing up who are supporting the museum much more actively,” Rogers says. “It’s a reflection of the interests of people in our community.”
Illustration by Michael Cho