The new art of the American wing (November 20, 2010 - December 31, 2016)

The title of the art is “the new art of the American wing”. Generally, the art presents a hemispheric outlook of about three thousands year ago of various art of American including the art of Northern, central and southern regions of America. However, the period rooms convey a discreetly local tale. Accordingly, out of the possible eight period rooms as well as other architectural components that are found within the 53 new galleries, 6 of them came back to open view after a break of about 8 years. Additionally, these rooms have been well refurbished and improvised ready for new cohort of visitors. Besides, two new rooms have been set for visitors to see for the first time. Basically, the American period rooms have been very common section of MFA’s exhibitions since the initial set up as Decorative Arts wings over 80 years ago in the museum. Currently, the rooms’ centre of attention is the New England, harmonizing the MFA’s important properties of the colonial and 19th century art obtained from the New England.

In terms of analysis, among the period rooms presented by the art, the room that appears to be more sophisticated and favourite is the ones from Oak Hill. This represents the work of art by Samuel McIntire’s (1800-1801). The art was created in Peabody a certain family called Derby-west family. The art is loaded with deluxe furnishings and beautiful illustrations of carved furniture. The 3 Oak Hill rooms are located together with a gallery that contains the furniture of John and Thomas Seymour as well as those of Paul Revere. Other rooms that have been refurbished are Jaffrey and Shepard parlour. Jaffrey parlour was a bungalow that originally belonged to a well renowned business person and a politician named George Jaffrey II who reigned 1682-1749. Basically, the furniture placed in the room illustrates the inventory of 1749 which included a desk, 3 tables, 10 chairs, 17 prints and maps as well as ceramics that are obtained from Asia. However, the house became shabby and the museum acquired the 2 rooms. Additionally, these rooms contain the unique French picturesque wallpaper. The two new rooms that were set up a fresh from the 1840 Roswell bungalow in Dorchester portray a picture of adjacent galleries of the paintings and decorative arts of 1950s.Similarly, it portrays the ancient timber framework like those of 1692-1693 Manning house framework and the hall that belonged to Brown-pearl lobby which are in a vigorous conversation with the crucial Anglo work of art that organized in their wall. Manning house convey an image of how buildings in the New English were constructed using the timber structures. Likewise, the self-supporting structure suggests the level of 17th century house for the painting, fixtures, and silver presented around the room shows the fundament carpentry technique that were ordinary to the buildings and furniture of that generation. Brown Pearl hall was the first timber-structure that was adopted by MFA in 1925. Generally, the room was constructed for Cornelius Brown and his partner in 1704. The house later was possessed by Richard Pearl in about 1738. This house remained in the family of Richard for over two hundred years. After viewing the room from the ground floor of the house, it illustrates how the 17th and 18th centurythe living spaces were being used for more than one purpose. Basically, these living spaces were referred to as the “hall” where various activities could take place including cooking food, eating and resting among others. Although the furniture placed in the room is not the real ones, they convey a picture of furnishings that were used during the period.

My viewing experience was affected by this art. For instance, the encounter with the art made me feel like I was in 17th century house. In other words, I could reflect how life in more than three centuries ago was like. Their house arrangement, building materials and technique were very different from the materials and technique used currently to build houses and buildings. However, I perceived the houses of the 17th and 18th century to be of class than the houses built in our generation. On the Contrary, the Museum guard had a very different perception of the art. According to him, the art has been biased and doesn’t reflect the actual houses and furniture of the 17th and 18th century. The museum guard viewed the art in a very different way than how I viewed it. For instance, He didn’t feel like he was taken a two or three generation backwards when he viewed the art. He suggested that the art portrays a more appealing picture than the real appearance in the past two to three generation. However, the Museum guard agreed with me that the arrangement and technique of construction portrayed by the art reflected the original technique used in those generations.

Basically, after the museum guard gave me his opinion about the art, I felt like I had been having the whole picture wrong. I was confused because, myself I could feel like I was in 17th century when I was viewing the art. However, since Museum guard told me that the art is greatly influenced by biasness than reality, I started viewing the art in a different perspective, though it was hard to buy the opinion of the guard. In conclusion, through the art, I managed to learn several aspects regarding the construction of houses in the past three centuries as well as the furniture used.

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