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The year in arts

Sebastian Smee’s 2014 art picks

A scene from Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors.” Courtesy of artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, Gallery, Reykjavik

■  Best show Goya: Order and Disorder,” Museum of Fine Arts

■  Best contemporary Mika Rottenberg, “Bowls, Balls, Souls, Holes,” Rose Art Museum, Waltham

■  Best 20th-Century show Franz West from the Hall Art Foundation, Mass MoCA and Williams College Museum of Art, North Adams and Williamstown

■  Best 19th-Century showAn American in London: Whistler & the Thames,” Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover

■  Best Old Master showDonatello, Michelangelo, and Cellini: Sculptors Drawings From Renaissance Italy,” Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

■  Best single work TIE: Ragnar Kjartansson, “The Visitors,” Institute of Contemporary Art and William Kentridge, “The Refusal of Time,” Institute of Contemporary Art


■  Best group show TIE: “Fiber: Sculpture 1960-present,” Institute of Contemporary Art and “Sight Specific: A Selection of American Perceptual Paintings,” Concord Art Association, Concord

■  Best local show of local artist “Jon Imber: Carry On,” Danforth Art, Framingham

■  Best out-of-state show of local artist “Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of the Brown Sisters,” Museum of Modern Art, New York

■  Best design showCalifornia Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way,” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

■  Best AmericanCalder and Abstraction: Avant-Garde to Iconic” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

■  Best historicalTell It With Pride: the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial,” Massachusetts Historical Society (organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)

■  Best collective effort Bernard Langlais Art Trail in Maine, coordinated by Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine

■  Three most disappointing showsJim Hodges: Give More Than You Take,” Institute of Contemporary Art; “Jamie Wyeth,” Museum of Fine Arts; Romare Bearden, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H.


■  Best pairingMatisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection,” Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley.

■  Best new permanent collection installations TIE. Three new ancient Greek galleries, Museum of Fine Arts and Kunstkammer gallery, Museum of Fine Arts

Sebastian Smee can be reached at ssmee@globe.com.