Proceeds from the Boston International Fine Art Show’s (BIFAS) Gala Preview, which was held in Devlin Hall last Thursday evening, will benefit the McMullen Museum as part of the museum’s expansion and relocation to 2101 Commonwealth Avenue.
“I think [the money’s] going to see us continuing lectures and tours and concerts of the same kind that we do now,” said Kate Shugert, the museum’s manager of Publications and Exhibitions. “At the new museum, we’ll have a much larger platform.”
The gala, which was attended by about 350 people, was the kick-off event for the 19th annual BIFAS. Other BIFAS events were hosted over the weekend at The Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts—they included booth talks with artists, panel talks with experts, and a presentation given by Boston College professor Jeffery Howe on the stained glass of John La Farge.
“Our new windows were a revelation to most there, and I was able to make many aware of the treasures that are often overlooked in our locale,” Howe said.
Howe attended the gala, where he spoke to attendees about the McMullen Museum’s mission and its plans to relocate. He also curated the museum’s current exhibit, titled “John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred.”
The exhibit features two large stained glass windows, which were donated by Newport, R.I., gallery-owner William Vareika, BC ’74, who Howe said is the world’s leading collector of works by John La Farge.
“Vareika basically saved the windows from being sold off as individual windows,” Shugert said. “They needed a ton of restorations.”
Vareika is affiliated with the Boston-based public relations agency, Fusco and Four, which organized BIFAS this year. Its owner, Tony Fusco, contacted the museum and collaborated with its staff members to organize the gala.
“We are very grateful to the organizers of the Boston International Art Show for choosing the McMullen Museum as the beneficiary of their gala,” Howe said. “It is a great honor, and a recognition of the important role that our museum plays in the Boston art community. Although they are a commercial organization, they value education and mission of our museum to expand the knowledge and appreciation of art.”
Gala guests got a first look at BIFAS artwork while wine and cheese were circulated. Ticketholders had the opportunity to view and purchase artworks before other BIFAS attendees.
“It was really a visual feast,” Shugert said, explaining that several gallery representatives and artists were present at the event to talk with attendees.
First-tier tickets cost $125, and allowed attendees to enter the event at 6:30 p.m., while second-tier tickets cost $250, and allowed guests to enter at 5:30 p.m. Those who purchased tickets in the highest tier, or “benefactors,” paid $1,000 to attend the gala. There were four benefactors at the event, Shugert said.
“It was definitely a success,” Shugert said. “I hope that the museum continues its relationship with Fusco and Four. It was a great way of starting a new relationship because we’re a very small staff. It was kind of a perfect example of the collaborative nature of the McMullen.”
Featured Image by James Clark / Heights Staff