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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 Portraits before the Revolution: Who's Missing?

During the 17th and 18th century portraits were the main form of popular art among Boston residents. Wealthy merchants commissioned artists to capture their families and themselves to show their social status and to decorate their homes. These portraits tell us much about life in Boston at the time, but much is missing in these pictures. Many different people were living in Boston before the Revolution who we cannot see in portrait art. What can we learn about Boston through these portraits? Who is not captured in this popular art form? Who is missing?



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