The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the “Appeal to the Great Spirit” statue at the Huntington entrance. (Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times)

You love art. When and where did that start? In school? At home? In books? For me it began when I was a kid in the 1950s and ’60s, before and during my teens. The primal scene was divided between two Boston museums where I spent a lot of time. I visited both again last week to check memory against reality and got a surprise: sometimes they match up.

I come from an art-loving family. Midwinter Saturdays, slushy and short in New England, were museum days. Our mainstays were the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, close to each other on the Fenway, a bayou-like tract of Olmsted parkland. There were early hopes that the area would attract rich residents, become chic, but it didn’t and the museums were a bit marooned there.


Holland Cotter
New York Times