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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Inside the MFA: What can the MFA do for you?

The Museum of Fine Arts holds many opportunities for Tufts students.

The Museum of Fine Arts is pictured.

The Museum of Fine Arts is pictured.

Although all Tufts students have free access to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, many forget to utilize the museum.

The MFA houses almost 500,000 works of art across a multitude of ancient and modern collections. You can find art ranging from 6,500 B.C.E to even the 2000s. The museum is open every day except Tuesdays and is eager to welcome visitors with a variety of interests and needs. Regardless of what you’re looking for, the MFA has an incredibly diverse and expansive collection available to students.

Tufts University formally absorbed the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2016, but the relationship between Tufts and the SMFA dates back to 1945 when they formed a joint degree program focused on teacher training. Additionally, just by virtue of being a university in the greater Boston area, the MFA seeks to support and provide resources to Tufts students.

First and foremost, all Tufts students get free access to the MFA under the University Membership program. Though you can’t reserve tickets online, presenting your Tufts ID at the desk is enough to gain free access to the museum. Once inside, students have access to all general museum offerings and galleries.

Some special exhibitions and events may require additional tickets, but Tufts students only have to pay a fee for the event, as they are already guaranteed free admission to the general museum. Even better, some of the museum’s special exhibitions and events are included for student members, like their “Conservation Up Close” and “Conservation Spotlight Talk” series. Events like these provide unique insight into what happens behind the scenes at the museum and allow college students to gain knowledge about what goes into museum maintenance.

Students also get a 10% discount at MFA stores. If you’re looking for a poster for your dorm room or a gift for an aesthetically-inclined friend, one of the MFA gift shops is a good place to go.

Should you be interested in becoming even more involved with the MFA, the museum offers internships and staff positions for university students. Work-study students are also eligible to become MFA Ambassadors which entails a year-long commitment to supporting customer service at the museum.

The MFA also makes it easy for college students to conduct research projects and coursework. Through the MFA website, you can access their digital collection as well as the MFA library; the latter contains additional writings and papers that relate to the museum and its collections. You can also find the MFA on YouTube for a variety of informational videos.

Every Tufts student has reason to take advantage of the MFA’s offerings. Perhaps you’re considering pursuing a Museum Studies degree and want to acquaint yourself with a museum up-close. Maybe you’re writing a history paper and want to cite an artwork from your region of interest. Or, you might be a student in the School of Engineering looking to shift gears after a STEM-focused week. Either for class or for relaxation, anyone could benefit from roaming the MFA’s galleries and seeing what they have to offer. After all, it’s just a short ride down the Green Line.