Christmas at the McMullen Museum

by David O'Neill



The 6.1 inches of snow that Boston received two weekends ago made the perfect setting for a Christmas celebration. Amidst the snowy fields of Brighton Campus, the McMullen Museum hosted their annual holiday celebration on Saturday, December 9. Members of the BC community—students, professors, alumni, and children of all ages— came for the free event, which provided a great study break for BC students. It was also an opportunity for visitors to view fall semester’s three beautiful exhibitions, which closed to the public the next day, December 10.

The party included a chance to hear Flemish stories told in the gallery, which housed a European art exhibit entitled “Nature's Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape.” The exhibition featured works from the renowned Flemish renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and the Flemish Christmas stories were all the more poignant amidst paintings of the snowy Belgian landscapes.


The festivities at McMullen were graced with a performance from the Madrigal Singers of Boston College, a choral group that focuses on singing Renaissance polyphony. In a quick turnaround from their concert at St. Mary’s hall the previous evening, the group brought beautiful music to an already beautiful venue. At McMullen, the Madrigals focused their music on traditional Advent and Christmas Carols. They sang “Silent Night,” “What Child Is This,” Veni, Veni, Emmanuel”, and “O Magnum Mysterium”, amongst others. The mix between Christmas carols and Advent hymns gave the listener a good reminder of what the season is truly about.


Fellow staff-writers at The Torch,Alexander Wasilkoff and Natasha Zinos, are both members of Madrigals and enjoyed singing at their concerts on Friday evening and Saturday. Wasilkoff summed up his feelings by exclaiming, “It was a treat!”


Zinos remarked, “The snow that fell throughout Saturday really put everyone in the Christmas spirit, and made it all the more fun to sing Christmas carols.”


Later in the day, the local Millis Berfield Band gave a live performance of some more contemporary Christmas songs. The band brought the young and old to their feet with their performances, which engaged the audience in a unique manner.


Free admission to the museum was just one of many great perks, with the Museum providing free hot chocolate and holiday treats as well. To engage the attendees’ artistic side, the Museum offered opportunities to decorate Christmas cookies, make Christmas tree ornaments, and create Christmas cards.


Across from the McMullen Museum, the Cadigan Alumni center held their annual “Winter Wonderland” for BC alumni and their families. The ticketed event—which included visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a petting zoo, and horse drawn carriage rides—drew many people to the free holiday event at McMullen as well.


Saturday’s event at the McMullen Museum brought together the visual and musical arts, great food, and creative activities in a Christmas celebration. In conjunction with the snow on the ground, it was sure to put people in the Christmas spirit before the beginning of final exams. After the event, the Museum temporarily opened their doors as a study lounge before closing to the public for the holidays. It will reopen with their new exhibition “Cao Jun: Hymns to Nature,” on February 5, 2018.



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