Boston-area arts letters to the Globe

Museum of Fine Arts

Sound and vision

Thanks to Sebastian Smee for another wonderful “Frame by Frame” critique on a hidden masterpiece on display in the Boston area (“Attuned to fine details of ‘Woman Playing a Lute,’ ” g, July 2).

I very much enjoy Smee’s highlights in the Tuesday paper. New England has so many world-class museums, including all those gems hidden in our area colleges’ museums.

I focused on art history in college and love going to the Museum of Fine Arts, of which I am a member. I look forward to what Smee uncovers next.




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I regularly read so many of the Globe’s writers, and frequently have a private one-way conversation with them, but Sebastian Smee’s piece today pushed me over the edge. I am compelled to write. I hereby declare that I am thoroughly smitten by Smee’s writing and observations. Beautiful. I am so glad that he came to work for the Globe.



Uneven, but classic

Matthew Gilbert raised the question “Can uneven TV series become classics?” (Sunday Arts, June 30). I have never watched “Dexter” and watched “The Wire” very sporadically (although I did just buy the complete series). I did watch every episode of “The Sopranos” and would note that even it had to transcend a subpar season — the next-to-last one. It did transcend that bad season with its reputation fully intact. If anything, it made the final-season comeback all the more impressive. Contrast this with “Oz,” which began so strongly and then overstayed its welcome by two or three years.


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Whirlwind welcome


I’ve long appreciated Geoff Edgers’s excellent, diverse coverage of the arts in the Globe, and today’s fine Page 1 article on Andris Nelsons prompted me to write and say so. (“Whirlwind welcome for BSO conductor,” A section, June 26). Edgers captured and transmitted the brimming optimism and excitement surrounding Nelsons’s arrival, and I found myself caught up in it as if I’d been in Symphony Hall myself yesterday. Nicely done.



Outside the Box festival

To quote Benjamin Disraeli, “It is easier to be critical than correct.” For his yeoman efforts to make the Greater Boston area a better place for all, Ted Cutler should be applauded, not booed (“Ted Cutler’s thinking way outside the box,” A section, June 30, Geoff Edgers). It is always easier to spend someone else’s $$$$$ than your own. Cutler doesn’t keep score, he only wins for the people of Boston. Never bet against him; just ask others who in the past have doubted him.


Delray Beach, Fla.

I don’t fault Cutler’s motives, but I can’t help but wish he had chosen to use that $5 million to support the arts community in a more strategic and sustainable way. There are dozens of small and mid-sized nonprofit arts organizations in the Boston area who are doing great work on a shoestring — and for whom a donation of even a fraction of that $5 million would be transformative.



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Singing their praises

Thanks to Ty Burr for bringing the obscure and interesting film “20 Feet From Stardom” to my attention (“Unsung voices,” g, June 28). I’m especially excited to hear that Sting is in it. I hope he talks about Dolette McDonald and Janice Pendarvis; I loved listening to them sing with him for years. While I’m at it, a shout-out to Doreen Chanter and Katie Kissoon, who used to sweeten the sounds of Roger Waters and Eric Clapton. Can’t wait to see this movie!


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