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Newbury Street Historic Walking Tour
Thu, May 4, 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
Newbury Street as a Work of Art
From its earliest beginnings 150 years ago, the Back Bay embraced major cultural institutions alongside the exclusive private homes of Boston’s élite. The Museum of Fine Arts and MIT, the first American university to confer architectural degrees, both trace their origins to the neighborhood. In fact, its major civic space, Copley Square, was originally called Art Square until renamed in honor of the city’s celebrated painter of the colonial period.
Art was not only central to the Back Bay’s identity as a fashionable district, but remains an integral part of its essence today. This is nowhere more apparent than on Newbury Street, whose galleries are among the most venerable in New England. But art abounds well beyond these establishments: it spills out onto the very sidewalks, creating a composition rich in color, texture and line that would be worthy of any dealer’s or collector’s wall, though none could contain it!
On this tour we’ll explore how an appreciation for art and architecture guided the historic development of Newbury Street and visit some of the major sites associated with this aesthetic legacy. At the same time, we’ll review how the street’s buildings and places continue to fuel Boston’s artistic and cultural life.