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MFA for Educators

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

Boston Loves Impressionism - A Collection of Collections

Explore the MFA's Impressionism collection to learn about the collectors, Boston's stylistic taste and the way a museum's collection changes over time. These stories and paintings offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the decisions and factors that go into shaping a prominent and widely loved collection.

Learning goals:

Students will learn:

- About the origins of the artwork in the MFA’s collection, deeply connected to Bostonian collectors and artists.

- About creating a collection and the different considerations that are part of this process; artistic significance, balancing a range of styles and artworks, evolving public taste.

- About art collectors' various motivations and tastes, including their relationships with artists and art institutions such as the MFA.


Using this resource:

- Visual Art teachers and students will be interested in the process of selecting and exhibiting artwork for public display.

- Visual Art teachers and students will be interested in articulating criteria for artwork as a group.

- Visual Art teachers and students will be interested in assessing and reflecting on artwork orally and in writing.


The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. To learn more about Impressionism, we suggest the “Impressionism at the MFA” and the “Impressionist Light and Color” lessons. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web source--or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries--to look for other objects that will provide further insights into this exhibition.

Created By

MFA School Programs


The Arts

Grade Level

General Interest

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