Matthew Reed Baker

A Great Start: MFA Masterpieces

MFA curators, local arts historians, and artists weigh in on the best that the MFA has to offer, from the most famous pieces to the ones that should be just as famous.

The New MFA Wing: The Lazy Person’s Primer

FAMILY TIES Curators recently discovered that the woman in Mrs. Richard Patteshall (Martha Woody) and Child (1679), attributed to Thomas Smith, was Paul Revere’s great-grandmother, and that the girl is most likely his great-aunt Ann. LOCATED IN: Brown-Pearl Room, lower…

The Making of a Masterpiece

Talk about an extreme makeover: In 1999, the MFA came up with a master plan to transform itself from a revered but intimidating archive of classic works to a user-friendly home for all art lovers. Entrances would be restored after…

The Trouble With Barney

SEUSSICAL AT THE COLONIAL. The Wiggles at the Orpheum. Sure, those kiddie shows may seem sweet, but they can leave some families awfully unsatisfied. "As a parent going to children’s theater, you feel like you’re babysitting," says Rob Orchard, head…

The Must List

Theater: VENGEANCE IS THE LORD’S Bob Glaudini scored a coup earlier this fall when his 2007 play Jack Goes Boating got the big-screen treatment courtesy of Philip Seymour Hoffman (in his directorial debut). Now the Huntington Theatre stages the world…

The Arts Beat: Can Dog Biscotti Save Downtown Crossing?

WE USED TO CALL IT Downtown Crossing; now it’s just the Hole in the Ground, a Filene’s-shaped chasm threatening to swallow the once-vibrant retail district. While the nonprofit Downtown Crossing Partnership can’t do anything about the hole — that’s the mayor’s…

September 2010: The Cultural To-Do List

9/2 Lou Barlow Ask any aging hipster: Back in ancient times — okay, the mid-’80s — mellow Northampton was a notable generator of slacker rock, largely thanks to seminal local bands Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. Westfield’s Lou Barlow founded both…

August 2010: The Cultural To-Do List

8/3 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat The bankrupt North Shore Music Theatre closed in 2009, but locally based cinema honcho Bill Hanney soon came to the financial rescue. After reopening last month with a Gypsy revival, the 55-year-old venue…