Coming Soon

Big Plans

Picturing Social Reform

June 20 - September 15, 2019
Hostetter Gallery

Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform examines how landscape architects and photographers advocated for social reform in the development of Boston, New York, and Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Using city plans, maps, photographs, and archival materials, this exhibition presents the invention of landscape architecture as a progressive response to the social and environmental conditions for working-class immigrants, and invites visitors to consider how artists and designers are addressing the contemporary urban challenges and social conditions of our time.

Explore this Exhibition

Explore this Exhibition

Works in this Exhibition

Explore the large-format urban plan drawings and small-format documentary photographs at the heart of this exhibition.

Map This

Map This is a Community Engagement project undertaken with Nathalia JMag in partnership with local youth-serving organizations.

Picture Yourself Here

Share your images with us and make a statement about how parks impact people and communities today.

Poets, prophets, and reformers are all picture-makers—and this ability is the secret of their power and of their achievements. They see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction.

— Frederick Douglass, "Pictures and Progress," (1864-65). Douglass delivered an early draft of this essay as "Lecture on Pictures" in Boston's Tremont Temple on December 3, 1861.

Exhibition-Inspired Programming

Community Engagement Amplifier Project

Street Theory Underground Mural Project Launch

June 15, 2019, 2 - 4 pm

Explore the connection between street art and fine art with a panel talk-back, DJ, and visuals by Street Theory.

Exclusive to Friends of Fenway Court Patrons

Opening Celebration

Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform

June 19, 2019, 8:30 - 10:30 am

Enjoy a special reception and preview of our newest exhibition, Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform.

Member Preview Day

Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform

June 19, 2019, 11 am - 4:30 pm

Before Big Plans opens to the public, experience the urban landscape of the late 1800s and early 1900s through a self-guided exploration or at an informal in-gallery spotlight talk.

The lead sponsors of Big Plans: Picturing Social Reform are Gwill York and Paul Maeder. Additional support is generously provided by the Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.