Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a world-class museum. Although I have been a member for years, I had not been in the building since Covid began. But I could not resist the museum’s “blockbuster” exhibit of J.W.M. Turner’s masterpieces. Well-masked, I and three friends, arrived as the doors opened on a sunny Friday morning.
There was also another, less-heralded, exhibit of the works of Philip Guston, a Canadian American artist who died in 1980. His works became known for their social commentary, frequently depicting “racism, antisemitism, and the banality of evil”.
The museum had postponed the Guston exhibit because of the controversial subject matter in this time of great divide in our country, and there were warnings at the start that some difficult issues are depicted. There were few visitors when we were there, probably because of the attraction of the Turner exhibit downstairs.
I found the Guston exhibit fascinating and ended up spending so much time there that I didn’t have a lot of energy left for Turner. Plus, the rooms in the Turner exhibit had people shoulder to shoulder, some unmasked. I sped through the exhibit, of course not spending enough time with any one of Turner’s masterpieces.
Will I go back for a more relaxed Turner tour? Well, I escaped Covid on that visit. I’m not sure I want to push my luck.