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August 26. 2012 12:16AM

Boston museum offers free entry to NH students


“An October Afternoon,” an 1877 oil painting by Sanford Robinson Gifford, is part of the “Art of the White Mountains” exhibit, which begins Sept. 1 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)


“Lancaster, New Hampshire,” an 1862 oil painting by Robert S. Duncanson, is part of the “Art of the White Mountains” exhibit. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 

BOSTON — New Hampshire is coming into focus in Beantown this fall as the Museum of Fine Arts reaches out to students through free admission and an exhibit featuring the White Mountains.

Beginning Sept. 1, the Museum of Fine Arts will launch its New Hampshire Student Membership Program, providing free access to the museum for all students from the Granite State.

All students from New Hampshire in elementary school through high school at public and private institutions, as well as homeschoolers and school groups, will be invited to explore all of the museum’s galleries and exhibitions for free.

The program is also open to all students attending accredited public, private, and community colleges in New Hampshire as part of the museums University Membership Program. Launched in the 1970s, the University Membership Program provides full-time undergraduate students at participating colleges and universities free admission to the museum upon presentation of a college photo ID.

“These programs reflect the MFA’s efforts to expand students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them through art, helping them to develop critical-thinking and communication skills that will benefit them across all disciplines,” according to the museum.

To further this mission, the MFA’s education department provides teacher workshops, resource materials and guided museum visits each year for nearly 60,000 elementary and secondary school students and their teachers from throughout New England and also hosts family activities during school vacation weeks. In addition, the museum presents free open houses, offers studio art classes, and serves as an art and cultural resource for eight partnering community sites, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, through the Museum’s Community Arts Initiative.

As part of its outreach to New Hampshire residents, the museum will also host a new exhibit, “Art of the White Mountains,” featuring famous artists such as Thomas Doughty, Thomas Cole and Benjamin Champney, as well as later masters Winslow Homer and George Inness and 20th-century modernists such as William Zorach. Rarely seen gems by Alvan Fisher, Jasper Cropsey and Robert S. Duncanson are joined by more widely known views by Inness and Sanford Gifford to underscore the importance of the region in the American landscape tradition.

“Art of the White Mountains,” which is ongoing now through July 2013, features more than 30 oil paintings, drawings, prints, watercolors, sketchbooks, photographs, and rare books drawn primarily from the MFA’s collection.

For more information, go to www.mfa.org.

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Nancy Bean Foster may be reached at nfoster@newstote.com.


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