Magna Carta: Cornerstone of Liberty at the MFA


One of only four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta—a document written in 1215 that is the foundation for many liberties that Americans enjoy—travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this summer for a special exhibition in the Art of the Americas Wing. An inspiration for the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, the exemplar typically housed in the Lincoln Cathedral in Lincolnshire, England, is on view at the MFA this summer in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Magna Carta—Latin for “Great Charter”— joins other historical loans as well as portraits and works of art from the Museum’s collection—including the MFA’s Sons of Liberty Bowl (1768) by Paul Revere, which is engraved with the words "Magna/Charta" and "Bill of/Rights"—to tell the story of patriots and revolutionaries who fought for freedom in the face of tyranny. The exhibition also includes portraits, marble busts, and historical documents related to several of the Founding Fathers, presidents, and abolitionists, particularly from Massachusetts, who were inspired by the liberties enshrined in Magna Carta.

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