Few things are more ephemeral than the picture postcard. So let’s hear it for ephemerality, since few shows this year are likely to offer more in the way of enchantment than “The Postcard Age: Selections From the Leonard A. Lauder Collection.” It runs at the Museum of Fine Arts through April 14.
Lauder is chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire (the namesake founder was his mother). The postcard has not lacked for distinguished admirers, from the poet Paul Eluard to the photographer Walker Evans. But Lauder has been acquirer as well as admirer, putting his money, and storage space, where his passion is. A demon collector, he has donated 120,000 of his acquisitions to the MFA. That figure is an estimate. With something so seemingly inconsequential as postcards, it’s hard to come by a precise count.