Journey through the history of Western painting in one of the world’s finest collections of art. Home to the largest collections of Egyptian and Japanese art outside of those countries, the museum provides an infinite array of human expression.
Our tour focuses on both art done by native Bostonians (John Singleton Copley, Homer Winslow), and the history of Western expression through painting. Starting with the Dutch Masters, we travel through the counter-reformation (Velazquez), Romanticism (JMW Turner), Impressionism (Monet), Expressionism (Picasso), and all the other isms that led to the modern era. We finish in the American Wing, admiring glass by Chihuly, Louis Tiffany, and John LaFarge, Copley portraits of John Hancock and Paul Revere, and the genius of John Singer Sargent.
This tour is designed to teach the novice how to better appreciate art, or to show the veteran art historian a melange of the museum’s 30-40 best pieces. We’ve selected the paintings with the best stories that will delight even small children who thought museums were boring. ***Please note that museum admission is NOT included in the price of these tours. Guests will be required to pay their own admission for an additional modest fee. Our fee is for the tour guide’s services only***
Koch Gallery (El Greco, Velazquez)
Dutch Masters (Rembrandt)
Romantics (JMW Turner)
Pre-Impressionist/Realists (Manet, Regnault)
Impressionists (Monet, Pizzaro)
Post-impressionists (Van Gogh, Gaugin)
John Singer Sargent
John Singleton Copley
George Washington Paintings (T. Sully, Gilbert Stuart)
John Lafarge vs Louis Tiffany
Museum admission is not included in the fee.
Private tours begin at $270, which covers up to 10 guests for up to two hours.
For tours longer than two hours, groups under 10 guests are $135 per hour per guide.
For customized tours in groups larger than 10, please contact us for pricing.
The Museum of Fine Arts offers many of their own docent-led tours, which are fantastic, and should be viewed as complementary to our tour. Their docents have studied the paintings in-depth, and can give comprehensive detail and history for each painting, though their tours tend to include 5-7 works, rather than 30-40. Their tours are FREE with admission. Visit their website for more information and tour schedules.
We are happy to handle admission for you, if you prefer to pay everything (tour fee and museum admission) in one lump sum.
If there is a particular painting or genre that deeply interest you, and does not appear to be on our path, please let us know. We do not typically enter the Asian, Egyptian, or “Ancient Art” wings, which are immensely rich in fabulous artworks. We encourage you to ask for these!
We do not have access behind the scenes of the museum.