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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Citizens Bank Foundation celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with open house

Presentations include Commemoration of Historic 'I Have a Dream' Speech, Live Broadcast of the 57th Presidential Inauguration, and Family Art-Making Activities

BOSTON (January 17, 2013) – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a free open house on Monday, January 21, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Underwritten by The Citizens Bank Foundation for the 10th-consecutive year, the day of family-friendly presentations will include an original spoken word and musical performance commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, a tribute to Dr. King by Berklee College of Music Professor Lawrence Watson, and art-making activities related to the themes of equality, peace, community, and reflections. In addition, the Museum will air the live broadcast of the 57th Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. Visitors will also enjoy recently opened exhibitions showcasing the works of acclaimed African American artist Loïs Mailou Jones and photographer Bruce Davidson, as well as a display of art highlighting Dr. King's legacy by local students from the Boys and Girls Clubs and other afterschool organizations participating in the MFA's Community Arts Initiative.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer our free Open House to the Boston community and beyond, and hope that families will join us for activities that celebrate the legacy of Dr. King," said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director at the MFA. "We are extremely grateful to The Citizen's Bank Foundation for their generous support of this event."

For the past 16 years, the MFA has celebrated MLK Jr. Day by offering free admission. In tribute to Dr. King, who advocated activism through non-violence, the MFA invites members of the community to explore the Museum and embrace the notion of expression through art. Since its inception in 1997, nearly 100,000 visitors have enjoyed MLK Jr. Day programming and exhibitions featuring several influential African American artists, such as muralist John Biggers, Boston-based artist Allan Rohan Crite, and Civil Rights-era photographer Ernest Withers.

"Fifty years may have passed since Dr. King's groundbreaking delivery of ‘I Have a Dream,' yet the MFA will make those words and that spirit encounter new life through presentations ranging from work by local young artists to historic photographs," said Jerry Sargent, President of RBS Citizens and Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. "It is important to remember Dr. King's efforts of promoting justice and equality for all and the MFA's free open house is an opportunity for young and old to celebrate his life and legacy.



  • Story Hour
    10:30–11:30 a.m., Gallery 171—Art of the Americas Wing
    Family-friendly stories will be read aloud about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and themes focusing on community, courage, equality, and peace (for younger audiences, age 4 and under).

  • Lawrence "Larry" Watson presents A Tribute to Martin Luther King: A Celebration of Activism
    11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Remis Auditorium—Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art
    Accompanied by a full band, Watson and singers will perform New Song of Freedom and other songs that honor differences and Civil Rights.

    The performance is supported by Berklee College of Music Office of Community Affairs and Campus Engagement.

  • 57th Presidential Inauguration
    11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Alfond Auditorium—Art of the Americas Wing Live, streaming coverage of the 57th Presidential Inauguration

  • Spoken Word and Music Presentation
    2:30–4 p.m., Alfond Auditorium—Art of the Americas Wing The MFA's Teen Arts Council will present an original spoken word and musical performance, along with an intergenerational 50th anniversary reading of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

    Teen Arts Council is funded by the Yawkey Foundations, the Pamela D. and Robert W. Adams Fund, the Dorothy B. and Owen W. Robbins Teen Arts Council Fund, the Dean Welfare Trust, the William E. Schrafft and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, the Endowment for the Teen Arts Council, the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation, and the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation. With special thanks to Richard and Priscilla Hunt for their generous support. Sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services.

  • Community Arts Initiative Showcase
    On view all day—Shapiro Family Courtyard On display will be mixed-media collages created by students from the MFA's eight Community Arts Initiative partners, including five Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

    The Community Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Linde Family Foundation.

Drop in from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Equality
    Shapiro Family Courtyard
    Inspired by the Loïs Mailou Jones exhibition (Gallery 231), a collage–making activity highlighting equality will take place in the Shapiro Family Courtyard.

  • Peace
    Druker Family Pavilion Room 160—Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art
    Visitors will consider what peaceful actions can help the community in this activity. Participants will learn how all different skin tones can be mixed using the same colors then will help to create a mural.

  • Community
    Behind the Scenes Galleries 125 and 225—Art of the Americas Wing
    Attendees can observe and sketch views of Boston, then add elements to the drawing that change the community for the better.

  • Reflections
    Druker Family Pavilion Room 159—Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art
    The Teen Arts Council will lead a reflection on the Civil Rights Movement and what it has meant through written or sketched thoughts and inspirations to create a collaborative, community project.


  • Family Tours
    Every 15 minutes from 10:30–11:45 a.m.; meet at the Sharf Visitor Center
    Exploration of the MFA's encyclopedic collection with a 30-minute kid-friendly tour. ASL interpretation will take place 10:30 and 11:15 a.m.

  • Spotlight Talks
    11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon and 1p.m., Gallery 231
    A 15-minute talk highlighting works in the special exhibition Loïs Mailou Jones.

    Presented with generous support from the Eugenie Prendergast Memorial Fund, made possible by a grant from Jan and Warren Adelson, and the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Exhibition Fund.

  • Introduction to the Collections Tours
    Meet at the Sharf Visitor Center
    One-hour tours for adults led by Museum-trained guides, featuring masterpieces from the collections.
    • American Sign Language (no spoken English) –12:30 p.m.
    • English – 1 and 3 p.m.
    • Portuguese – 1:30 p.m.
    • Spanish – 2 p.m.

  • Gallery Talk
    2 and 3 p.m., Gallery 335
  • Curator Karen Haas will give a 30-minute talk about the special exhibition Bruce Davidson: East 100th Street, which features photographs depicting life on East 100th Street in New York City.

    Presented with generous support from the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fund.


Loïs Mailou Jones
Gallery 231—Art of the Americas Wing
The MFA will pay tribute to the remarkable career of artist and teacher Loïs Mailou Jones (1905–1998) in this exhibition, which will showcase approximately 10 paintings and 11 works on paper from the MFA's collection, in addition to five works on paper lent by the National Center for Afro American Artists. Born in Boston and a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Jones made significant contributions to 20th-century American art. Her innovative creations and distinguished teaching career transcended boundaries delineated by her African American background and gender. This chronological presentation will allow visitors to examine Jones's ability to reinvent her artwork in terms of medium, style, and subject matter over the course of her career. Presented with generous support from the Eugenie Prendergast Memorial Fund, made possible by a grant from Jan and Warren Adelson, and the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Exhibition Fund.

Bruce Davidson: East 100th Street
Gallery 335—Art of the Americas Wing
This exhibition will celebrate the MFA's recent acquisition of the 43 original prints by renowned New York photographer Bruce Davidson that were showcased in his groundbreaking 1970 show, East 100th Street, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The images recorded the gritty reality of life on the block of East 100th Street between First and Second Avenue, which had been described during the 1950s as one of the most dangerous areas in the entire city. Davidson began the project in 1967, when this section of East Harlem was slowly improving, but as an outsider he found it challenging to earn people's trust and gain access to their homes and families. Returning almost daily for nearly two years with his large-format camera and gear, he was eventually embraced by the residents of the street and the resulting social document was both published as a book and exhibited at MoMA. The exhibition is presented with generous support from the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fund.

Community Arts Initiative

Shapiro Family Courtyard
The Community Arts Initiative allows the Museum to serve as an art and cultural resource within Boston-area communities. Working with eight community organizations, including five Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the Community Arts Initiative introduces youth to the Museum's collections and the art-making process, while also helping them understand how art can be an important part of their lives. For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students from the MFA's eight Community Arts Initiative partners, including five Girls and Boys Clubs of Boston, worked with MFA Liaisons to learn about Dr. King, his legacy, and his lasting impact. Each group created a collaborative mixed-media collage that will be on a one-time display during the open house.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its encyclopedic collection, which includes an estimated 450,000 objects. The Museum's collection is made up of: Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA's hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 p.m., weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 p.m. admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The Museum is closed on New Year's Day, Patriots' Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit www.mfa.org or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation's support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG's website is citizensbank.com.