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BMFA Needs Changing of the Guards

Yes, art-lings, I’m in Boston, about to walk over to the new Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed facility for the Institute of Contemporary Art. But, alas for faithful CultureGrrl readers, if I blog about the ICA, my WSJ editor will shoot me. So you’ll have to wait for my take, to appear on the “Leisure & Arts” page.
I did hit the ground running on arrival yesterday, and I CAN tell you about the shocking lack of guards at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where I caught a marvelous Cecily Brown show, organized by the Des Moines Art Center. (No, I didn’t bother with the controversial “Fashion” show.)
Only parts of the museum were open at night, and I hightailed it to one of my favorite rooms— the one with the iconic Copleys and Stuarts and all that Paul Revere silver. There was nary a guard to protect all those exposed, valuable Colonial paintings and antiques. And that was pretty much the case throughout the museum—long stretches where I wandered at will with no one paying any attention to what I might be doing.
A long distance away from the Colonial art were two guards, deep in discussion about their personal lives, situated in a hallway from which they could see almost no art of any kind. They were later joined by a third who preferred gossiping to guarding.
In another gallery, I could see a guard sitting on a bench, deeply engrossed in his cell phone. At Cecily Brown, the lone guard was intently gazing at a painting—admirable, but not a great way to keep an eye on the three rooms that contained the show.
Parenthetically, the BMFA has the grittiest floors I have ever encountered in a museum. Will someone please buy them a vacuum cleaner?
Okay, gotta run to the ICA, which I’m sure will be clean and pristine.
UPDATE: The ICA was still cleaning up the construction dust, and, above, I meant “Stuart” when I wrote “Sargent” (which I have now corrected). That’s what I get for posting hastily!

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