The Museum Of Fine Arts

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Like many other places in South Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts and History is deceptively small, but musty and brimming with reminiscence of times past. Squatting on the curb of the downtown road since 1993, the museum belies its significance. Composed of plain red brick atop a sheet of cracked pavement, it is as humble as any house along the road. The first step into the museum greets the patron with a wave of chilly air that totes along whiffs of dust and undertones of the aged burgundy rug that sprawls limp over the mottled tile. Beside the door on a pedestal sits a peace lily. Healthy and upright, its leaves reach toward the ceiling like a person in the middle of a stretch and yawn. In a building full of artifacts and memorials to dead times and people, the thriving green plant is a cheerful sign of life. With the encouragement of the lily, it becomes somewhat less intimidating to follow the tour guide out of the shadow shrouding the lobby and into the next room. Stark light casts an almost antiseptic glow over the white walls and illuminates the rows of framed paintings arranged meticulously on one wall. “Featured artists,” the guide explains—local amateur artists who have contributed their work. A contract benefits both museum and artist by giving the museum an exhibit and the artists a chance to sell artwork to a wider audience. “We switch out paintings pretty frequently. Someone could visit every week and see new art every time.” The guide leads with purpose

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