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Museum of Fine Arts will grow its contemporary art collection

Ramiro Gomez's "Resting" is one of the first new works to be purchased.
Ramiro Gomez's "Resting" is one of the first new works to be purchased.Museum of Fine Arts

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts remains closed, but curators are still hard at work on the contemporary art collection. The museum has made a pledge, announced Thursday, to purchase works by 24 artists living in the US, more than half hailing from the Boston area. Nearly all of the artists will be entering the MFA’s collection for the first time.

The acquisitions kick off in June, starting with two paintings: 2019′s “Resting” by Mexican-American artist Ramiro Gomez and 2013′s “Lumumba’s Harp" by New York-based Jas Knight. Gomez’s work is a tribute to immigrant workers, often toiling invisibly at society’s margins. Knight’s still-life honors Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically-elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and features historic artifacts from central and west Africa. Knight will participate in a virtual studio visit with the MFA’s Akili Tommasino, associate curator of modern and contemporary art, at 2 p.m. on May 31. Find it at www.instagram.com/mfaboston.

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"Lumumba's Harp" by Jas Knight will be purchased by the museum in June.
"Lumumba's Harp" by Jas Knight will be purchased by the museum in June.Museum of Fine Arts

As the acquisition process continues, the museum plans to add works by 14 Boston-area artists including Brett Angell, Katarina Burin, and Lavaughan Jenkins. Also announced Thursday was the Living Artist Membership program, granting free lifetime MFA memberships to all artists represented in the permanent collection.