In my high school library one afternoon (if you must know, this took place, ahem, quite a few years ago), my buddy and I were in one of those spectacularly dumb frames of mind that only teenagers can achieve. We were roaming among the stacks, when thanks to Melvil Dewey and his Decimal Classification system (fun Massachusetts fact: After graduating from Amherst College, Dewey developed his popular system for his alma mater’s library; he subsequently moved to Boston), we stumbled upon a section of books with titles that all began with “The Art of ….” For some reason, we found this wildly funny. I mean, we were exploding with the repressed laughter that a hushed environment such as a library can inspire.
My name is Arthur, and that’s how most people refer to me, but a few folks use the shortened “Art.” My friend kept picking out books, and wondering, with ever-increasing mock amazement, how I could have become the renowned expert of so many pursuits. “Look at all of these books they’ve written about you: ‘The Art of War,’ ‘The Art of Public Speaking,’ ‘The Art of Floral Design’.” I know. It’s supremely stupid. But it seemed impossibly funny at the time.
So, when I think about the art of Boston, I have a little inside-joke chuckle with myself. And now you’re in on the joke, such as it is. But, when it comes to art and Boston, it’s no joke. We have world-class museums waiting for you to explore. If you want a crash course in two of the finest museums, consider booking the Art Immersion Overnight package, which is available through the end of March 2013. For $259 (a savings of over $100), you and your guest will receive one night at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, two passes each to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and $50 towards a meal at the Spanish-influenced Tapeo in the Back Bay.
Even if you’ve been to both museums before, you’ll want to visit the spiffy new Art of the Americas wing at the MFA (opened in late 2010), which includes 53 galleries over four floors and features works of art spanning North, Central, and South America, and many centuries. The Gardner Museum opened its elegant new Renzo Piano-designed wing in 2012.
I apologize in advance if the story I shared with you causes any sudden outbursts. Please try to control yourself in the hushed atmosphere of either museum as you ponder the art of Boston.