Its collection of art from India is considered to be the finest in the United States. The museum's collections of Chinese and Japanese art are also outstanding. The Egyptian wing, housing the Way Collection, includes Old Kingdom sculpture unrivaled except in Cairo. The painting galleries are notable for many examples of Spanish art and are particularly strong in works by American artists; 18th-century portraitists, especially Copley and Stuart, are magnificently represented. The museum owns many canvases by John Singer Sargent as well as his mural decorations in the rotunda. The silverwork of Paul Revere is shown in quantities unequaled elsewhere. There is also a rich collection of graphic art.
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 and is 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 thirty-six leading art schools in the United States.
One of the unique attributes of SMFA are there are no grades in studio classes; credit is awarded through 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 of 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; there is the annual December Sale, the juried "Student Annual Exhibition," as well as various galleries and spaces that are available to students around the School buildings and in 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, Boston. 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 mile from the main building, recently has been renovated and includes studio spaces for Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate students as well as classrooms, workshops, the Writing Center, and the Registrar's office. The SMFA intends to further expand the Mission Hill building vertically to accommodate its growing student body. The school shares on-campus housing at The Artist’s Residence Hall, located just down the street at Massachusetts College of Art.
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 Weems Center, that connects the two buildings.
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