Arts

Celebrate the MFA’s 150th Anniversary with Free Admission

The Museum of Fine Arts will have plenty of programming on offer as well.


museum of fine arts boston

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How did you celebrate your last milestone birthday? Maybe you got your first car for your Sweet 16 or spent a blissful evening with family on your 50th. If you’re the Museum of Fine Arts, you’re celebrating the big 1-5-0 with a free admissions day chock full of special presentations, membership deals, and of course, a visit from Riley the Museum Dog.

If you’d like to join the city’s biggest museum on its big day, head on over on February 5 and take in some of the current exhibitions on display. Marvel at the masterful works from the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties in the Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family and Friends. Looking for something more contemporary? Check out Black Histories, Black Futures, which is art curated by local teens drawn from 20th century artists of color. They’re all good options for taking in the breadth of art on offer at the museum during its special celebration.

In a press release, Matthew Teitelbaum, the museum’s director said, “The MFA’s 150th anniversary is a moment to honor our past and, more critically, anticipate our future. The Museum was founded with a spirit of generosity and belief in the power of art and artists—values that remain among the pillars of today’s MFA.”

Free admissions will run between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Not only that, visitors can experience some special programming, as the museum plans to go into full birthday swing. If you visit tomorrow, you can sign up for a free first-year membership while you’re exploring highlights of the global collection. And if you’re already a member, you can enjoy double discounts on retail and dining on the big day, as well as double free admission throughout the anniversary year.

Worried about getting overwhelmed by how huge the MFA is? The Museum will have ongoing “MFA Journey” tours that visitors can drop in on any time to learn about the history of global art collections. The tour will walk you through 15 stops of highlights throughout the museum to celebrate the 15 decades of milestones at the MFA. There will be also tours in Spanish at 6:30 p.m. and with ASL interpretation at 7 and 8 p.m.

If you’re looking for more hands-on activities other than strolling across galleries (or you’re ready for a break from walking), try the Artist Toolbox Cart: Stained Glass (5:30-8:30 p.m.) and Drawing in the Galleries (6-9 p.m.) workshops.

Additionally, visitors can join a celebratory moment and have cupcakes at 6 p.m. alongside Teitelbaum while enjoying a performance by Darcy Kuronen, Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments. And of course, that’s when you can get your moment in with the museum’s Very Good Boy, Riley the Museum Dog.

If you’re bummed out the party only lasts for one day, be sure to check out some of the upcoming celebrations throughout the year, including an outdoor summertime block party and a fundraising event to support diversity and inclusion efforts.

10 a.m.-10 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, mfa.org