Magna Carta Travels from UK Castle to MFA Boston

Magna Carta Travels from UK Castle to MFA Boston
The Magna Carta, a significant document in the history of Britain & US becomes the center of an art exhibition in Boston. I’ll discuss its importance as well as accompanying art from the 18th century.

Works on paper in museums are usually by Rembrandt or ancient scrolls. In 2014, one of four existing copies of the Magna Carta travels from Lincoln Castle in UK to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - alongside some of the museum’s existing works of art in the exhibit: "Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty."

The Magna Carta is latin for "Great Chapter" and was signed in June 1215 by barons of medieval England and King John, limiting the king’s authority.

The copy being displayed at the MFA Boston from July 1, 2014 – September 1, 2014 is from the UK’s Lincoln Cathedral and is housed in Lincoln Castle. The other three copies are owned by the British Library (2) and one by Salisbury Cathedral (UK).

Some of the accompanying works of art from the MFA Boston collection to the Magna Carta exhibit are: "Sons of Liberty" silver bowl from Revolutionary Boston, John Singleton Copley’s "Samuel Adams" (1772) a portrait of the statesman, and marble busts of two statesmen from the American Revolution (mentioned below).

The Massachusetts Historical Society has loaned the MFA two manuscript copies of the Declaration of Independence, originally penned by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

More than five hundred years later, the Founding Fathers would find the Magna Carta inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution (1787) which guarantees personal freedom and limits government’s power.

Three branches of the US government would be described in the Constitution as: legislative, executive, and judicial.

What a wonderful opportunity for history buffs, students, and the general public to see an 800 year old document that has been so influential in US history.

You can own a giclee print of John Singleton Copley's "Samuel Adams."




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