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Museum Of Fine Arts To Offer Free Admission Memorial Day Weekend

BOSTON (CBS) - The Museum of Fine Arts will celebrate the spirit of Boston by offering free admission to all visitors on Memorial Day weekend.

The MFA us calling its tribute to the city and its people, "Boston I Love."

"I think it provides wonderful consolation," says MFA Director Malcolm Rogers. "You've just seen the worst that human hands and minds can do. And you can come to the museum and see the very best of what human hands and minds can do. It's inspiring."

Rogers was flying home Marathon Monday and found out about the attacks when he landed at Logan Airport.

"Almost the first communication I had was that message from Tom Campbell the director of the Metropolitan Museum asking 'how can we help?'"

"I was surprised. And I thought how wonderful it is to have colleagues like that. And as you know, the Met is lending us three wonderful masterpieces."

Rogers chose the three paintings carefully, starting with Winslow Homer's "Northeaster."

"It's all about the power and the uncontrollable nature of human life, in a way. And then, central to the group is a statuesque portrait of a woman in mourning, grieving. It's called "Tears." It's by a great 19th century painter called Lord Leighton. And then, thirdly, there's a painting by Manet, the great impressionist, of the other great impressionist, Monet in his garden with his family just relaxing.

So you can see, I think, the progression of thought, from the uncontrollable to grieving and then to the human bonds that make life so special."

Since the attacks, we've seen the response from people all over the world. Gifts and messages that remind us we're not alone. Quilters are now creating their own tribute that will be on display at the museum.

Amy Friend is a sewing blogger from West Newbury. She's now organizing hundreds of flags.

A quilter in Canada started the "To Boston With Love" project, put the instructions online and reached out to Amy who called the MFA.

"It makes you feel good to try to do something to help," says Amy. "Even though I realize that a display of flags won't help people who are recovering from injuries, it's just a sign of love."

She's already received 450 flags with pledges of hundreds more.

The free Memorial Day Community Weekend runs May 25-27.

Visitors will be invited to create their own pictures to add to a growing collage at the museum. Donation boxes for the The One Fund Boston will be set up throughout the building.

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