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Set them free

Posted by Katie Johnston Chase  June 13, 2008 10:14 AM

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A friend and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts the other night to take advantage of the free general admission offered on Wednesdays from 4 to 9:45 p.m. The plan was to see Antonio Lopez Garcia's stunning Spanish cityscapes, maybe gawk at a few masterpieces along the way, then head home to catch the finale of "Top Chef." A free evening of culture -- first highbrow, then low.

But the lure of the "El Greco to Velazquez" exhibit, a "special exhibition" not included in the general admission freebie, sucked us in. We hemmed and hawed at the entrance, wanting to see these dark, beautiful paintings from the early 17th century but not wanting to drop $23 during a free night out. But we gave in and opened our wallets. And it was worth every dime. We were awed by the rich textures and glowing figures -- and especially by the larger-than-life figure on a white horse with a flowing, curly mane that looked as if it belonged on the cover of a romance novel.

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[The still lifes were unbelievable, too. Nice one, Juan Sánchez Cotán]


It's too bad the MFA doesn't open up these special shows for free once a week, or maybe even once a month. Just think of the people it would draw in who don't normally get to see priceless art like this. I guess as long as there are suckers like me out there (and there were a lot of us there that night), it doesn't have to.


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