Black Histories, Black Futures: What’s New at the MFA?



From January 20, 2020, to June 20, 2021, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA will be showcasing its “Black Histories, Black Futures” exhibit to the public. In the past, the MFA has displayed other historical art exhibitions, such as “The “Rococo World of Francois Boucher” in 2017, and the “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics” presentation, from late 2017 to mid-2018. However, the “Black Histories, Black Futures” display is different from the other intricate exhibitions of the past. For one thing, while past displays were usually showcased in the Ann and William Elfers Gallery, this upcoming exhibition will be displayed in several galleries throughout the entire museum. Additionally, this exhibit is curated by teenagers as a part of the MFA’s new partnership with local youth empowerment organizations. These curators, who are members of the youth empowerment group Becoming a Man (BAM), have worked seasonably to put together all elements of this exhibit. From conception to execution, Boston’s youth played a substantial role in the making of this project, and it’s an achievement to be celebrated. 

“Black Histories, Black Futures,” which celebrates Black histories and experiences, proudly spotlights the works of several 20th-century artists of color. While many of these artists are well-known in art culture, such as Archibald Motley and Norman Lewis, there are also several fresh faces being brought to prominence in this exhibit. Visitors and guests will be delighted by the works of Loïs Mailou Jones, an SMFA graduate; and Allan Rohan Crite, a longtime Boston resident.

According to the MFA website, this upcoming exhibit will be divided into four sections, with each section representing a different theme. The first theme, “Ubuntu: I am Because You Are”, focuses on images of leisure activities and daily community life. “Welcome to the City” takes a more intimate approach to urban scenes through both paintings and photographs, capturing the gritty beauty of the city. “Normality Facing Adversity” and “Smile in the Dark” explore the concept of being oneself, and more importantly, what that means on an intrapersonal scale. 

With a wide variety of styles, textures, artists, and mediums, “Black Histories, Black Futures” promises to bring a fresh air of electricity to the Museum of Fine Arts. The inclusion of teen curators is an additional innovative element to the exhibit, and more importantly, sheds light on the representation of youth in the arts.

Further reading:

(Photos courtesy of Mike Tom, Public Relations Associate for the MFA)


Published by

Sarah Desroche

I am a twenty-two year-old college grad based in the Boston area. As a Digital Media + Social Justice major, spreading inspiration and positivity is extremely important to me. When I'm not reading, writing, or blogging, I enjoy cooking delicious vegetarian meals and binge-watching crime shows on Netflix. Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s