Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Collection

Corn meal bowl, about 1880. Image and data from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston houses a collection of 450,000 objects from around the world and across the ages. The Art of the Ancient World collection ranks among the premier encyclopedic collections in the world, representing more than 7,000 years of art from Nubia, Egypt, the Near East, Cyprus, Anatolia, Greece, and Italy. Also noteworthy are the museum's holdings in Asian art, with works dating from 4,000 BC and encompassing Japanese, Chinese, and Indian painting and sculpture, Japanese prints and metalwork, and Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese ceramics. The American collections include Paul Revere's silver, New England furniture, and a selection of paintings from all eras of America's history. Selections from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's collections are represented in Artstor with over 13,000 images. The museum has also shared more than 22,000 photographs documenting archaeological excavations at the Giza pyramids from 1905 to 1942.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston was founded in 1870 and was originally located on Copley Square. By 1907, additional space was needed to accommodate the growing collections, so the museum trustees hired architect Guy Lowell to design a new building for the museum. In 1909, the museum moved to its current location on Huntington Avenue, a Neo-Classical building with a impressive façade and a grand rotunda. Over the years, numerous additions enlarged the original structure. In 2010, the museum completed a major renovation project designed by the London architectural firm Foster and Partners that expanded the existing exhibition, conservation, and visitor facilities. 

The museum is affiliated with The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which is located across the street from the museum. Established in 1876, the school is one of the oldest art schools in the United States. The Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts is a sister museum located in Nagoya, Japan. It was founded in 1999 to share the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's collections with the people of Japan.