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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.

Fashion Tour

  • Woman's headdress (tien tzu)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Woman's headdress (tien tzu)

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Overall: 21.59 x 24.77 x 19.05 cm (8 1/2 x 9 3/4 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Gilt metal, kingfisher feathers, jade, tourmaline, coral, turquoise, lapis lazuli, bone, pearl, glass, resin, silk satin weave, and silk plain weave

    Classification

    Costumes

    Accession Number

    RES.55.48

    Collections
    Textiles and Fashion Arts More Info

    Description

    The Eurasian kingfisher is known for its radiant, iridescent feathers of electric blue. In China, the plumes, known as fei-ts'ui, are highly prized and were used as early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220) to decorate wall hangings and bedcovers. During the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties, the feathers were also used in jewelry and headdresses, especially those worn by noblewomen on ceremonial occasions and brides on their wedding day. By the early twentieth century, small ornaments incorporating fei-ts'ui were popular among ladies of lesser rank. As a result, it was not long before demand outstripped supply for these exotic feathers and the bird became extinct in China. This headdress, characterized by a curved front and flat crown, would have been worn by a lady of considerable wealth. It was made on a latticework armature of iron wire covered by a black silk satin. Attached to the fabric are numerous decorative motifs, including a central blossom with a jadeite center and pink tourmaline petals; butterflies; bats; flowers; and two phoenixes amid stylized waves and clouds. These are embellished by kingfisher feathers set in gilt metal mounts, pearls, and semi-precious stones. Many of the flowers and critters are en tremblant, that is, they are attached by coiled metal strips to the armature and would have quivered when the wearer moved about, thus creating a shimmering effect. A pearl strand fringe with decorative beads and colorful glass pendants frames the front of the headdress.

    Multimedia

  • Mask (bwoom)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Mask (bwoom)

    20th century

    Dimensions

    33.02 cm (13 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, copper, beads, cloth, shells, and seeds

    Classification

    Masks

    Accession Number

    1994.414

    Collections
    Africa and Oceania More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Don Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Don Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf

    1632

    Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Spanish, 1599–1660

    Dimensions

    128.0 x 101.9 cm (50 3/8 x 40 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    01.104

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Koch Gallery (Europ. Painting 1500-1700) - 250 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Infanta Maria Theresa

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Infanta Maria Theresa

    1653

    Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Spanish, 1599–1660

    Dimensions

    128.6 x 100.6 cm (50 5/8 x 39 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    21.2593

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Koch Gallery (Europ. Painting 1500-1700) - 250 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia