Boston-area arts letters

Museum of Fine Arts

A couple for the ages

Thanks to Sebastian Smee for his insightful meditation on the fabulous Etruscan sarcophagi (at right) at the MFA (“Finding Eternal Love at the MFA,” g, Feb. 18). Few portrayals on the subject of love in paintings, photographs, or sculpture engage the viewer with the immediacy of these poignant figures.

Smee’s hidden treasures series is a much-appreciated gift to us readers of the Globe.




For over 30 years, I have ended just about every trip to the MFA with a visit to the two sarcophagi Smee describes — sometimes alone, sometimes hauling friends and family with me. Given the slightly out-of-the-way location and the usual lack of a crowd, I have sometimes wondered if others saw what I saw in the 2,300-year-old travertine: a beautiful expression of tenderness, affection, and care shared by a couple, and the universality of such feelings across such a void of time.

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Creepy campus presence

“The Sleepwalker” at Wellesley College is an oddly placed piece of art that does not look “vulnerable” to me at all (“Sleepwalk this way,” SundayArts, Feb. 16). Perhaps if it were in a museum somewhere, I could have a different reaction. But I’ve known too many women who were sexually assaulted on college campuses to see this piece, in the middle of a women’s college, as anything but creepy (to say the least) or even all-out-threatening. The figure does not look vulnerable, but it very well might make a lot of women on campus feel vulnerable.



Eye-opening discoveries

Sebastian Smee’s writing captivates my spirit. I travel an expanding path of discovery reading his art critiques. And I send a hard copy to my aged sister in Vermont who “does not access the Internet.” “More,” she writes after receiving a particularly engaging read.


Now, about those lads in the rafters (“ ‘Saturday Afternoon,’ when the children rule,” g, Feb. 4). Even though I had thoroughly (I thought) searched the painting before reading Smee’s comments, the lads had not existed until he drew my eyes to the rafters.

This happens all the time! He opens the eyes of those of us who think our eyes are already fully engaged.


Jamaica Plain

A pause to reflect

I hope Garry Trudeau properly retires “Doonesbury” (“Trudeau plans hiatus from daily ‘Doonesbury,’ ” Feb. 12). It breaks my heart when I see repeats of “Peanuts,” when Charles Schulz clearly stated that he wanted that strip to fade away when he died.


Posted at Boston


I’m a staunch conservative and I look forward to “Doonesbury” every morning. It’s too bad he is slowing down just as he had started to be critical of Obama.


Posted at Boston

Instead of running Trudeau’s warmed-over reruns, the Globe should take the opportunity to fill the slot with the work of a new cartoonist, preferably someone under the age of 60. Why should we all have to suffer through endless baby boomer nostalgia trips?


Posted at Boston

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