This month, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), hosts its ninth annual Juneteenth—the MFA’s first in-person community celebration in over a year—and continues its partnership with the Roxbury International Film Festival (RIFF). Additional virtual events include a program hosted by the Center for Netherlandish Art, the annual Daphne Farago Fund Lecture featuring three contemporary artists working in jewelry, and a series of conversations in conjunction with the MFA’s upcoming outdoor project, Garden for Boston.
JUNETEENTH: On June 19, the MFA is hosting a day of outdoor programs to celebrate Juneteenth—the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S.—and honor the contributions of Black artists, scholars and creative voices to the City of Boston. Drop-in activities will include art making, Spotlight Talks focused on artwork by the MFA’s artist-in-residence Rob Stull and musical performances curated by BAMS Fest. Limited free tickets will be available for an outdoor screening of Summer of Soul, presented in partnership with the Roxbury International Film Festival. Additionally, a virtual panel discussion titled “Disruption by Design: A New Path to Liberation” will take place on June 16 at 6 pm.
ROXBURY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: The 23rd annual Roxbury International Film Festival (June 17–26) takes place virtually on mfa.org and in person this year, including outdoor film screenings on June 19 and 24. RIFF is the the largest festival in New England dedicated to celebrating films by, for and about people of color. Tickets will be available to purchase on June 2.
GARDEN FOR BOSTON: This spring, the MFA will launch Garden for Boston, a new outdoor project by local artists and activists Ekua Holmes (African American, born 1955) and Elizabeth James-Perry (Aquinnah Wampanoag, born 1973) that welcomes visitors and opens conversations about the land that the Museum occupies. The project will be further activated through a series of public discussions with artists, scholars and thought leaders about the deep connections and intersections between Black and Indigenous histories in Boston. Upcoming events include “Community Crossroads: Black and Native Experiences in Boston“ (June 1) and “Planting Together: Conversation with Ekua Holmes and Elizabeth James-Perry” (June 22).
PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE: CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY NOW: The annual Daphne Farago Fund Lecture on June 3 will bring together three contemporary artists working in jewelry today: Melanie Bilenker, Tiff Massey and Mallory Weston. These artists create provocative, relevant and socially engaged work, each positing adornment not just as aesthetic decoration, but as a vital and urgent means of connecting past to present, and communicating visions of the future through design.
YOUTHFUL AMBITION: Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck was not yet 20 years old when he painted Self-Portrait as Icarus with Daedalus in about 1618. In a virtual program on June 8 organized by the Center for Netherlandish Art, leading experts on Flemish art take a closer look at the recently rediscovered work, which is a promised gift to the MFA from the Van Otterloo Collection. Participants will explore Van Dyck’s motivations behind the painting and the pictorial traditions from which it emerged, and preview the Museum’s plans for displaying works by Van Dyck and other Flemish masters in the new galleries of Dutch and Flemish art, opening fall 2021.
SOUND BITES: In conjunction with Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, the MFA is hosting a Sound Bites: Nancy Lee Clark Concert Series that explores how different generations expand on and redefine early hip-hop. The concerts—filmed inside the exhibition and available for rent on the Museum’s recently launched on-demand video platform, MFA Selects—conclude on June 3 with Slick Vick with Cake Swagg and Bernadine. The full suite of performances will be available to view on MFA Selects through the run of the exhibition.