Next Score View the next score

    The top Globe arts stories of 2015

    A group of playful protesters picketed outside the Museum of Fine Arts in October, expressing their dislike of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work.
    Lane Turner/Globe Staff
    A group of playful protesters picketed outside the Museum of Fine Arts in October, expressing their dislike of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work.

    From protests at the Museum of Fine Arts to Taylor Swift to the Greenway’s floating sculpture, here are the most-viewed arts stories from 2015, starting with the most popular:

    1. Renoir haters picket outside Museum of Fine Arts

    It’s nothing personal, says Ben Ewen-Campen, he just doesn’t think French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir is much of a painter.


    2. Do you speak Canadian road sign?

    Get The Weekender in your inbox:
    The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    Ty Burr returned with something to say after a week of camping in Canada and pondering “What in the name of Rob Ford were the road signs trying to tell us?”

    3. ‘American Sniper’ doesn’t flinch

    In his review of the film, Ty Burr writes, “’American Sniper’ may be the hardest, truest movie ever made about the experience of men in war. Why? Because there’s no glory in it.”

    4. Counter-protesters join kimono fray at MFA


    Over the summer, the Museum of Fine Arts playfully began “Kimono Wednesdays” to feature Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise.” Protesters were not amused, saying it was cultural appropriation. Counter-protesters wearing kimonos said they enjoyed the museum’s attempt to bring Japanese culture to the community.

    5. 50 things about Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ on its 50th anniversary

    It was 50 years ago, Thanksgiving in 1965, when an 18-year-old rising folk singer named Arlo Davy Guthrie drove up from Queens, N.Y., to Great Barrington to visit a friend named Alice Brock.

    Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
    The sculpture — a vast net of rusty orange, magenta, and green hues — floated above the Greenway until October.

    6.Floating sculpture rises over the Greenway

    Brookline artist Janet Echelman’s light-as-air sculpture turned heads as it soared over the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway when it appeared in May. This is the story — and accompanying time-lapse video — about the art and the “crane ballet” it took to install it.

    Joe Alblas, Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Pictures

    7. ‘Book of Negroes’ reveals little-known chapter in history

    The six-hour BET series — based on the award-winning book of the same name by Lawrence Hill, who co-wrote the teleplay with director Clement Virgo — tells the story of Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis, “The Help”), a woman stolen from her village in Africa and sold into slavery as a child.

    Spotlight Film, LLC
    Rachel McAdams (left) and Globe reporter Sacha Pfeiffer.

    8. The real people behind the ‘Spotlight’ characters

    The movie “Spotlight” — featuring stars including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams — tells the story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the systemic coverup of child abuse by the Catholic Church. This feature takes a look at the real-life Boston Globe reporters portrayed in the film.

    Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
    Taylor Swift at Gillette in July. It is the first stadium she had ever headlined, and she has a soft spot for it.

    9. At Gillette, Taylor Swift proves her pop superstar status

    In his concert review, critic James Reed writes that Swift is “no longer a doe-eyed ingénue,” and that she “commands an audience like none of her peers can after successfully transitioning from country-pop sweetheart to the world’s most influential pop star.”

    10. Surprising warmth in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ adaptation

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.L. James should count her blessings as she counts her millions,” writes reviewer Meredith Goldstein. “Her best-selling book — which, despite its popularity, is pretty rough source material — was stripped of its worst parts and turned into a surprisingly warm screenplay by Kelly Marcel.”