School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Established 1876
Type Private
President Christopher Bratton
Academic staff
152 full- and part-time
Undergraduates 700
Postgraduates 100
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Campus Urban, non-residential
Affiliations Tufts University
Northeastern University
Professional Arts Consortium

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (also known as the Museum School or SMFA) is an undergraduate and graduate college located in Boston, Massachusetts, dedicated to the visual arts. It is affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in partnership with Tufts University and Northeastern University. SMFA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of several dozen leading art schools in the United States.


The school does not have a foundations program, but it does require all new students to take a freshman seminar. Encouraged to build an individual program of interdisciplinary study, students are not asked to declare a major, but by choosing among in-depth courses in a dozen disciplines, students are free to concentrate in a medium of their choice.

One of the unique attributes of SMFA is that students are required to participate in a "Review Board" which is a review of all of the art work that a student has done during the semester. Review Boards are led by two faculty members, one of whom is the students' choice, and two fellow students. There are many opportunities for students to exhibit their artwork at both the main building and the Mission Hill building.

Opportunities to exhibit works include the annual Museum School Art Sale and the juried "Student Annual Exhibition". Various galleries and spaces that are available to students around the school buildings include Bag Gallery, Hallway Gallery, Bathroom Gallery, Underground Gallery, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The School's main campus is adjacent to and just to the west of the Museum of Fine Arts. Most classroom space is located there, as well as the Cafe des Arts, the library, the School's store and the Grossman Gallery. The Mission Hill building, located about a quarter mile from the main building, recently has been renovated and includes studio spaces for graduate and post-baccalaureate students as well as classrooms, workshops, and the Writing Center.


The Weems Center, part of Graham Gund's expansion, looking down from the third floor

From 1876 to 1909, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was housed in the basement of the original Museum building in Copley Square. When the Museum moved to Huntington Avenue in 1909, the School moved into a separate, temporary structure to the west of the main building. The permanent building, designed by Guy Lowell, was completed in 1927. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) red brick building provided improved classroom, studio and library facilities.

In 1987, a newly renovated and expanded school building, designed by architect Graham Gund, more than doubled the size of the existing structure and provided an auditorium, enlarged library, expanded studios and classrooms, a spacious new entrance, cafeteria, and increased gallery and exhibition spaces. Gund's expansion included the central atrium, known as the Katherine Lane Weems Atrium, that connects the two buildings.


Degree programs available at the Museum School include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts: A 4-year BFA in Studio Art, with a self-designed curriculum, offered through Tufts University.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts: A 4-year BFA in Studio Art, with a self-designed curriculum, offered through Northeastern University.
  • Dual Degree: A dual degree program (BFA/BA or BFA/BS) in which you major in Studio Art at SMFA and another major of the student's choice at Tufts University]
  • Master of Fine Arts: A 2-year MFA in Studio Art, with a self-designed curriculum, offered through Tufts University.
  • Master of Fine Arts: A MFA in Studio Art, with a self-designed curriculum, offered through Northeastern University.
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (Art Education): A 1-year (beginning in May, ending in May of the following year) MAT in Art Education, offered through Tufts University.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate: An intensive postgraduate certificate one year program, this is an opportunity for those who wish to obtain an MFA to strengthen their portfolio or those who wish to set up their own studio practice. Many people in this program have undergraduate degrees in non-art related fields, others are changing careers, and many are recent art school graduates looking to further their education.
  • Studio Diploma: A four-year, all-studio certificate program for both high school graduates and career changers interested in spending concentrated time in the studio.

Noted artists affiliated with the school

Frederick Warren Allen, Sculptor, Teacher for 50 years, 30 as Head of Sculpture, 1907-1954 Bela Lyon Pratt, Sculptor, Head of Modeling until 1917 Adio DiBiccari, Sculptor Peter Abate, Sculptor, teacher

See also


  2. Severens, Martha (1999). William Halsey. Greenville County Museum of Art. p. 14. ISBN 096032464X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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