Museum Council

Hadley Powell, Chair

I’ve been a member of the Museum Council for five years and on the Steering Committee for four years, most recently serving as the vice chair of Membership. I am the founder of an art advisory firm, Powell Fine Art Advisory, where I provide art consulting services for collectors of modern and contemporary art across all media, including paintings, drawings, original prints, photography, and sculpture.

What do you enjoy most about the Museum Council?

The Museum Council membership and Museum staff are what makes this a uniquely intimate and fun organization. From curator-led talks to behind-the-scenes experiences with priceless objects, I’m fascinated and continually engaged by the breadth of the collection and how it is presented by the curatorial team in new ways.

What’s your favorite piece in the MFA’s collection?

Having a background in Impressionist and modern art, I’m partial to the incredible collection of paintings by Claude Monet. Monet’s art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, brought works to Boston from Europe in the late 19th century. They were collected and exhibited by Bostonians, which is why we have such an impressive collection. I also love contemporary art and particularly enjoy the large-scale mural by Jason Middlebrook that has been on view in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art since August 2014.

 

Detail of Jason Middlebrook's conceptual sketch for Tread Lightly
Jason Middlebrook, Tread Lightly, 2014. Acrylic and house paint. Courtesy of the Artist, Monique Melouche Gallery, Chicago and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I’m expecting in September, so I’m looking forward to cooling off in Maine in July and August.


Julie Balzer, Vice Chair, Events

I joined the Museum Council shortly after moving back to the Boston area in 2015. I am an artist working primarily in acrylic paint and collage, but I also dabble in pretty much every artistic medium. I host the PBS show Make It Artsy and am the national spokesperson for the Brother ScanNCut. I am a blogger, vlogger, podcaster, and author of the book Carve, Stamp, Play. I confess to being a board-game junkie, and I'm always up for good food and good conversation.

What do you enjoy most about the Museum Council?

Meeting new people and gaining a deeper understanding of art and exhibitions at the MFA.

What’s your favorite piece in the MFA’s collection?

As a child, I had two posters from the MFA in my bedroom: John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit and Gauguin's Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?. I still love those two paintings, but nowadays I'm also drawn to Franz Kline's Probst I and Max Beckmann's Perry T. Rathbone.

Detail of Max Beckmann's portrait of Perry T. Rathbone
Max Beckmann, Perry T. Rathbone (detail), 1948. Oil on canvas. Gift of Perry T. Rathbone. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I'm going to Paris! I can't wait!


Alice Lewis, Vice Chair, Membership

I joined the Museum Council in 2014 when I moved to Boston from New York City. I have always loved the arts and started my career in art-related tech companies. Since then, I have stayed in the startup community, founding a company to help women build creative businesses.

What do you enjoy most about the Museum Council?

The Museum Council has introduced me to many of my closest friends. Our shared appreciation for art was the jumping-off point to lasting friendship.

What’s your favorite piece in the MFA’s collection?

I love Tara Donovan’s sculpture on the ceiling in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. It is mesmerizing that styrofoam cups could be transformed into such an outstanding sculpture.

Tara Donovan's Untitled sculpture
Tara Donovan, Untitled, 2003. Styrofoam cups, hot glue, white thin rope, aluminum structure. Gift of Gail and Tony Ganz. © Tara Donovan, courtesy Pace Gallery.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I am looking forward to a trip to Switzerland for Art Basel in June.


Cameron Rahbar, Vice Chair, Development

I’ve been a Museum Council member since 2015 and have been on the Steering Committee for the last two years. I work at Boston Private, where I specialize in working with high-net-worth individuals to help them realize their wealth and retirement goals. I went to Noble and Greenough School, Dexter Southfield School, and ultimately Wesleyan University, where I captained the squash team. In addition to my new role on the Steering Committee, I am also a member of the Young Leadership Committee at SquashBusters, and a financial consultant volunteer at Year Up.

What do you enjoy most about the Museum Council?

The Council has been amazing for meeting people of various backgrounds and ages who all share a common interest in learning more about Boston's art community. It is the perfect mix of social and educational activities, acting as an excellent introduction to the MFA for a younger audience.

What’s your favorite piece in the MFA’s collection?

Kehinde Wiley’s John, 1st Baron Byron is one of my favorites, not only because of the concept, color, size, and detail of the work, but because of what it represents in the MFA's collection. Wiley's piece speaks to the MFA’s commitment to create a more inclusive Museum. Given the Museum's prestigious reputation and role in civic life, it is extremely important to be able to attract and represent all members of the community.

Kehinde Wiley's painting, John, 1st Baron Byron
Kehinde Wiley, John, 1st Baron Byron, 2013. Oil on canvas. Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection, The Heritage Fund for a Diverse Collection and funds donated by Stephen Borkowski in honor of Jason Collins.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I'm looking forward to “Casanova's Europe,” which opens on July 8!


Charlotte Zawel, Vice Chair, Family Initiative

I have been a member of the Museum Council since 2012. After working in marketing for most of my career, I just started my own interior design business.

What do you enjoy most about the Museum Council?

What I enjoy most about the Museum Council are the friendships I’ve made with fellow members—and of course learning about art of all kinds!

What’s your favorite piece in the MFA’s collection?

My favorite piece in the Museum’s collection is Frank Weston Benson’s Calm Morning. This has been my favorite since I was 6! I grew up in the Boston area and have always been a frequent visitor to the Museum.

Frank Weston Benson's painting, Calm Morning
Frank Weston Benson, Calm Morning (detail), 1904. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Charles A. Coolidge Family.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

I’m excited for a trip to Spain with my husband and two kids, ages 4 and 2!