Guest Author – David O’Donnell Okay, so you probably know all about Boston’s world-class museums, but the lineup of exhibits and exhibitions coming to town this spring is amazing! What do the Dead Sea Scrolls have to do with Gauguin and Cézanne? How would Michelangelo have advised JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Who knows? These figures and artifacts are completely unrelated, right? Not if you’ll be in the Hub this spring.

Let’s start with the Museum of Fine Arts, which unveiled Paul Cézanne’s “The Large Bathers” (on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art) in February as the latest installment in the “Visiting Masterpieces” series. Cézanne’s epic work – an idyllic, wooded landscape with 14 female bathers – is a masterpiece of French painting, and in this exhibition, you can view it directly next to one of the MFA’s most famous pieces: Paul Gauguin’s “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” Go check out these masterpieces in the Rabb Gallery through May 12 and wonder, along with the artists, what is paradise? A sensation? A dream? A bucolic world? If post-impressionism isn’t quite your thing, then maybe the Renaissance artist and sculptor Michelangelo will inspire a visit to the MFA. “Sacred and Profane: Master Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti” opens in the Lee Gallery on April 21, featuring rich and sundry works from the master’s Florence home. 500 years after Michelangelo sketched these drawings, a journey to the MFA will reveal his beguiling interpretations of the divine alongside the profane. Much of this artwork would be unavailable for viewing - or there’d be no one around to care - if the Kennedy Administration hadn’t defused a little snafu in Cuba fifty years ago. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum marks the fiftieth passing of the Cuban Missile Crisis with the exhibit “To The Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” opening April 12.

Check out secret documents and recordings from this troubling time, including an inside look at the President’s ExComm group. For 13 days the earth stood still, as the United States and USSR stared into the abyss, re-live it this spring and be glad that you can, well, re-live it. If all this stuff makes you reflect on life, existence, religion, or anything else related to why we’re all here, rest assured that people have been working through these heavy thoughts for a long time. On May 19 the Museum of Science opens an exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known texts of the Bible.

The exhibit will include scrolls that have never been displayed in North America. And to think that a shepherd simply happened upon these artifacts while exploring caves along the West Bank! Learn the whole story at the Museum of Science. From Biblical times through the Cold War, that’s an impressive line-up at your fingertips if you’re in Boston over the next few months. The Hub is always beautiful and enchanting during springtime – the magnolias bloom, the Swan Boats return, the Sox take the field – and this year the museum experience offers a provocative look at the history of the human mind. Want to explore?