J.M.W. Turner exhibition at MFA Boston

A highly anticipated J.M.W. Turner exhibition at MFA Boston opens this spring, Turner’s Modern World, bringing together more than 100 works by one of Britain’s greatest artists—including paintings, watercolors, drawings and sketchbooks—drawn from museums across the U.S. and Great Britain. Made some two centuries ago, these dramatic compositions explore issues that continue to resonate today: the human cost of war, the place of the individual worker in the larger economy, political and humanitarian concerns, the impact of industry on the environment, and the conflict between technology and tradition.

The centerpiece of this landmark J.M.W. Turner exhibition at MFA Boston is the artist’s famous Slave Ship (1840)—a stinging indictment of the transatlantic slave trade—only on view at the MFA. The painting is a crown jewel of the MFA Boston’s permanent collection.

J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) lived through a tumultuous period—witnessing wars, revolutions, massive social reforms and technological innovations that transformed the world around him. Reacting to these changes, Turner began painting in a radical new manner—a modern manner. His exploration of luminous color was unparalleled, and his innovative brushwork anticipated by decades the loose strokes of the Impressionists in the 1870s and the gestural paint handling of the Abstract Expressionists in the 1940s and ’50s. This J.M.W. Turner exhibition at MFA Boston explores how one painter, more than any of his artist contemporaries, embraced changing times and committed to capturing them with a bold, distinctive approach.

Turner’s Modern World is on view at the MFA from March 27 through July 10, 2022 in the Ann and Graham Gund Gallery. Member Preview takes place from March 24–26.


Timed-entry exhibition tickets, which include general Museum admission, are required for all visitors to the J.M.W. Turner exhibition at MFA Boston and can be reserved on mfa.org starting February 2 for MFA members and February 9 for the general public. Adult tickets to “Turner’s Modern World” art $34, kids 7-17, $17, children under 7 free. Admission for museum members is free

Effective January 15, 2022, all visitors age 12 and older are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the Museum.

The MFA Boston is open from 10 AM – 5 PM Thursday through Monday and is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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