BOSTON, MA? – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has debuted its first online catalogue, Paintings of the Americas. The free digital publication, available at www.mfa.org/americanpaintings/, features a selection of more than 400 paintings from its collection of nearly 2,000 (including new acquisitions) created by artists from the 17th through the 20th centuries. The online catalogue was produced to complement the MuseumÂ’s Art of the Americas Wing. This is the first publication in a generation to document the MFAÂ’s world-renowned holdings of American paintings, along with those that represent the broader spectrum of the Americas. With its elegant design, ease of use, and access to a wide range of information, Paintings of the Americas tells a compelling story through a chronological exploration of diverse works from North, Central, and South America. It also showcases masterworks by John Singleton Copley, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Georgia OÂ’Keeffe, and Wifredo Lam. Support for this publication was provided by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Ann and William Elfers Publication Fund, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, and the Vance Wall Foundation. «We are especially pleased to introduce to our online visitorsÂ–including families, students, and museum loversÂ–a new way to experience for free one of the worldÂ’s finest collections of American paintings in a format that will be regularly added to and updated as new information is entered into our database,» said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum.
In 2000, the MFA was one of only a few museums in the world to make its collection available online, and today, the majority of its 450,000 works can be viewed on the web. Now, with the new online catalogue, readers using a personal computer or tablet, such as an iPad, will be able to dig deeper into information about 425 paintings by browsing artwork by chapter, title, and artist; bookmarking favorites; reading essays; and enjoying interviews with curators and conservators. The catalogueÂ’s online format allows content to be regularly updated and, in the future, the number of paintings featured will expand, as will the range of scholarly background information. Beginning with a DirectorÂ’s Foreword by Malcolm Rogers and an introduction by Elliot Bostwick Davis, the John Moors Cabot Chair of the Art of the Americas Department, the catalogue is organized into 12 chapters,with headings written by Erica E. Hirshler, the MFAÂ’s Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings. It highlights works that reflect the broader definition of the art of our nation and the Americas by incorporating a greater number of paintings by women, indigenous artists, artists of color, Latin American artists, and self-taught artists. A selection of newly acquired works by African American artists from the John Axelrod Collection also will be showcased in the online publication.
«Complementing the opening of the MuseumÂ’s Art of the Americas Wing, the online catalogue represents painters from the colonial Americas, the United States, and those from North, Central, and South America. As in our galleries, we hope visitors to the publication will discover a range of artistic expression that derives inspiration from a variety of cultures, periods, and styles found around the world and closer to home,» said Davis, who oversaw the creation of the catalogue led by Karen E. Quinn, the MFAÂ’s Kristin and Roger Servison Curator of Paintings, and Erica E. Hirshler.