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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Siavash Raissi


‘Fashioned by Sargent’ masterfully invites viewers to step into the artist’s shoes

In 1888, famed painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) hosted his first solo exhibition at the St. Botolph Club in Boston, where he displayed some of what would later be deemed his most iconic works. Throughout his life, he would continue to return to Boston, painting portraits of Boston’s wealthiest patrons and his closest friends, including Isabella Stewart Gardner.


‘The Boston Festival of Films from Iran’ continues to inspire with its global narratives

Last week, the Museum of Fine Arts hosted The Boston Festival of Films from Iran, a three-day event dedicated to the exclusive screenings of Persian movies, both new and old. Since its inception in 1994 as a collaborative initiative between the MFA Boston, the MFA Houston and the National Museum of Asian Art, the festival was forced to take a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. But for the first time since, the event has returned with a selection of four powerful films, each of which stands out for its unique narrative, discussions and sharp criticisms of contemporary Iranian society. 


Artistic vandalism in the modern age: Why soup does not mix well with Van Gogh's paints

On March 10, 1914, 32-year-old Mary Richardson visited the National Gallery of Art in London in hopes of finally being able to view Diego Velázquez's “The Rokeby Venus” in person. Depicting a naked woman as she reclines across a luxuriously draped bed alongside a representation of Cupid, the work has a prominent place in the National Gallery’s collection as one of the only portrayals of nudity from 17th century Spanish art. Yet Richardson, a prominent suffragette of her time, did not intend to solely admire the painting at a distance. Enraged by the recent arrest of another suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, she began to wield a meat cleaver smuggled into the museum and attacked the canvas, leaving several gashes on the painting’s surface. Though the painting was successfully restored, contemporary writings and criticisms of the action featured heavily charged language, accusing Richardson of having committed an act as reprehensible as murder.


'Life Magazine and the Power of Photography' illustrates history

For much of the 20th century, LifeMagazine conquered mass media as the primary visual source for current events. From 1936 to 1972, the magazine presented the public with carefully crafted images that captured real-world social and political narratives. Henry Luce, the publication’s founder, was able to expose readers to a wide variety of images outside of their immediate community, shaping discussions about contemporary issues in the process. As the Museum of Fine Arts puts it in its new exhibit, “with its visually revolutionary brand of storytelling, Life fundamentally shaped how its readers understood photography and how they experienced and remembered events.”


Tufts Spring Dance Concert sends off seniors with a bang

On April 23 and 24, the Tufts Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies presented this year’s Spring Dance Concert, a performance dedicated to sharing the senior capstone projects of its hard working students. With over 20 student dancers across 10 unique performances, each choreographed by a graduating Tufts senior, this year’s concert provided viewers with a final opportunity to witness an impressive display of the chemistry and relationships developed within the department over the past four years.


Dutch and Flemish art captivate viewers at the Museum of Fine Arts

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts received a generous gift of 114 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings for long-term loan and permanent ownership from private collectors in 2017. Years after receiving this new collection, the MFA recently renovated a suite of seven galleries, which has been open to the public since November 2021, to display these works. These galleries coincide with the opening of the MFA’s Center for Netherlandish Art, the museum’s latest research center dedicated to promoting artistic study of the region. Today, as a result of this latest acquisition, the MFA now holds one of the most impressive collections of 17th century Netherlandish art.


Weekender: The revival of city pop: The soundtrack of 80s Japan

On Nov. 27, 2020, popular YouTuber David Dobrik showed off his newly purchased flamethrower in a TikTok that has since gained over 14.9 million views. While the ensuing chaos is entertaining nonetheless, viewers may also recognize a familiar track in the background. This song is no other than “Mayonaka no Door / Stay With Me” (1979) by Miki Matsubara. Matsubara’s hit has since gained traction as part of a larger trend involving people of Japanese descent filming their parents’ reaction to hearing the song. As a result of its internet fame, catchy vocals and unique international origins, the pop tune, despite having been released over 30 years ago, took the No. 1 spot on Spotify’s global viral chart last December.


'Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated' leaves a lasting impression

Claude Monet (1840–1926) is arguably one of the most important painters of all time. With his extraordinary impressionist works, he captured nature’s fleeting moments in an entrancing manner and forever left his mark on art history. Though he never visited Boston during his life, the city has still served as a popular hotspot for collectors to buy and sell Monet’s works. Some of these compositions were eventually donated to museums, including Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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