User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Perspective machine

Start collecting

Optical machines were popular entertainments. This example was operated by removing the medallion and inserting prints into a slightly angled rack, in the base. Catching the light from a window, the prints were viewed through an eyepiece that projected a magnified image. Artists and craftsmen...

Show Full Description


Said to have belonged to Samuel Holten (1738-1816) of Danvers, Massachusetts, and descended from him to Miss Maria Chase Grey; purchased by the Museum in 1960.

Credit Line

Gift of S. Richard Fuller and Dudley Leavitt Pickman, Harriet Otis Cruft Fund and Charles Hitchcock Tyler Residuary Fund, by exchange


Object Place

Salem, Massachusetts, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 215


Overall: 191.8 x 60.6 x 46.4 cm (75 1/2 x 23 7/8 x 18 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pine, glass lens