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Senior Watercolor Class visits the Museum of Fine Arts!

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

By Kelly Saramago, USES Intern

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This past week the senior watercolor class had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts to view the John Singer Sargent exhibit! This visit was an exciting opportunity for the class to explore something new together as a group. The exhibit celebrates a century of Sargent’s work at the MFA! In addition to some of Sargent’s work shown at the MFA, one can also see some of Sargent’s work at the Boston Public Library and Harvard Widener Library. Many of his large scale murals are shown at these libraries.

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When viewing the many works of Sargent, we were able to see a range of watercolor paintings in addition to some oil paintings. Many of the images were of landscapes and/or people. In one room, we were able to see a watercolor and oil painting side by side. This abstract painting was of a river bank surrounded by beautiful plants. By seeing this, we were able to identify the differences in color, texture, and styles between these two types of paints. Ernie mentioned, “The river in the oil painting looks much darker than the river in the watercolor painting!”

When walking through the exhibit, we were able to view different watercolor techniques used by Sargent and ask questions about how we could apply those same techniques within our own practices when using watercolor. Ruby asked, “How is he able to make the white stand out without blending into the other colors?” Doe mentioned, “I wonder if he knew any of the women in his paintings.” when referring to Sargent’s Switzerland series. This successful trip will hopefully be one of many visits to the MFA!     


Kelly is a senior at Lesley University majoring in Psychology & Art Therapy. She has studied abroad in Peru and has experience working with children and disabilities. In addition to volunteering with our Senior Watercolor class, Kelly assists our Arts-in-Education Specialist with Spanish Studio Arts classes at the Hurley K-8 School.

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