MFA Director Malcolm Rogers Plans an Artful Day in Boston

The native Brit plans an itinerary for his perfect day in his adopted hometown, Boston

Ann and Graham Gund Director Malcolm Rogers celebrates his 20th anniversary this September as master of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. To mark the occasion, we sat down with the native Brit (read the interview, here) and asked him to plan an itinerary for his perfect day in his adopted hometown, Boston. After the task he remarks affably, "Don’t you think this is quite an artistic and foodie tour without anything too heavy?" We say, yes.

9 am: First Things, Art

I absolutely love the terrazzo pavements by Jane Goldman at Logan Airport, the ones of sea creatures, “Atlantic Journey.” Those are some of the most beguiling works of art in Boston and people generally just walk over it in a hurry. But, I would start the visit there.
Logan Airport, East Boston

9:45 am: History with a Side of Gelato

Then I thought well, perhaps we’d go to the North End for a bit of Italian atmosphere, stop for espresso ice cream at Caffé Vittoria, take a look at look at the Old North Church, which is just a quick walk from Caffé Vittoria and is Boston’s oldest church, founded in the 1770s, association with Paul Revere, and all that kind of thing. It takes you straight into Boston, New England, Revolutionary history.
Vittoria, 290 Hanover St., 617.227.7606
Old North Church, 193 Salem St., 617.523.6676

SS Majesty
Shinique Smith's "Majesty" on view at the MFA (Courtesy the artist ©Shinique Smith/Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

11:30 am: Art in the Park

We’d go on to the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway. With the museum in mind, we are going to see a wonderful mural in Dewey Square by Shinique Smith. We have an exhibition of her work ("Bright Matter" Aug. 23, 2014 through March 1, 2015) in the MFA; she’s an alumna of the museum school, and we’re just proud that she’s putting this monumental piece on the Greenway.
Financial District

12 pm: Lunch With a View

Now, it’s about lunchtime, so we would go to the Taj Café, because there you can see all the street life of Newbury Street, you can see the Public Garden, Boston Common, all that kind of thing. It’s a great place to see and be seen.
15 Arlington St., 617.598.5255

1:30 pm: Art in the Square

We’d go to Copley Square, and take in Trinity Church. As an Englishman, it’s nice that there is stained glass by Burne Jones, and there are also murals by La Farge. [Then] we’d call in at the Public Library and see the John Singer Sargent murals.
Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St., 617.536.0944
Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 617.536.5400

Cafe at Taj
Cafe at Taj overlooks Newbury Street (©Taj Boston)

2:45 pm: Fine Forays

You’ll not be surprised to hear, we would head to the Museum [of Fine Arts] and the Gardner Museum. And, perhaps have a cup of tea there.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., 617.267.9300
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, 617.566.1401

6 pm: Dining, Pretheater-style

We'd go to Brasserie Jo, which I quite like, near Symphony Hall, for dinner.
120 Huntington Ave., 617.425.3240

8 pm: Art for the Ears

We would think about taking in a concert at Symphony Hall. There’s a great [fall] season for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It’s the opportunity to hear for the first time the new resident conductor Andris Nelsons, so that will be headlined for a lot of Europeans.
301 Massachusetts Ave., 617.266.1492