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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Making Past Present: Cy Twombly

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Museum of Fine Arts / Boston / Art

Cy Twombly’s family was all-American. His father, nicknamed “Cy,” pitched for the Chicago White Sox; when his son was born in Virginia in 1928, he passed on the nickname “Cy”—in both cases it was a nod to the baseball player Cy Young. Twombly’s schooling carried him from Virginia to Georgia to Boston to New York to North Carolina (Black Mountain College). In 1957, he moved to Rome. Something about the city’s antiquity possessed Twombly. He bought an apartment in Via de Monserrato and later acquired a 17th-century villa in Bassano, just north of the ancient city. To his visitors, he told stories of Hadrian, Catullus, and Cicero, speculating on their burial, their mystic presence. After all, he joked, this was the East Hampton of 2,000 years ago! Twombly’s sculptures bear the imprint of his beliefs. Focused on his fascination with the ancient Mediterranean world, this exhibition (which was organized with the Getty Museum, where it opened) pairs the artist’s sculptures with paintings, drawings, and prints from the MFA Boston holdings, works he might have come across during his decades in Rome. —E.C.

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Museum of Fine Arts 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA
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