The Boston museum of Fine Arts has a large collection of objects that have different historical relevancies. Most of the objects have similar characteristics as far as texture and composition are concerned. However, individual differences in aspects such as the spatial illusion they portray and the color they have makes the objects unique. Over the years, the museum has done a great work in collecting different objects from different artists in order for them to be stored. This paper will analyze two objects from the museum: Sons of Liberty Bowl and the sugar box. Important to note is the fact that these objects were done by different artists at different historic times. Despite this lack of uniformity as far as the artists and time frame are concerned, the two objects share many similarities. Despite the similarities they have, the two objects, on the other hand, have several differences. Such rich differences and similarities in the two objects make them ideal for the paper, which aims to make comparisons and contrasts of the objects in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Sons of Liberty Bowl was done by an American by the name Paul Revere, Jr, who lived between 1734 and 1818. The artist hailed from Massachusetts and was renowned of his creativity in artwork. The actual year, when he came up with this object, was in 1768, which took the form of a bowl. The object is classified under silver hollowware, taking the medium or technique of silver. The art’s accessory number is 49.45. Sugar box, on the other hand, was an art by John Coney who was of an American origin. Coney lived between 1656 and 1722, and it is estimated that he worked on the art (sugar box) between 1680 and 16850). Similar to the artist behind Sons of Liberty Bowl, Coney hailed from Massachusetts, with the art taking the medium/technique of silver (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002). It is also classified under silver hollowware, with the accessory number of 13.421. The two arts above have a number of similarities and differences that make them the ideal objects for discussion.
The first similarity that the two objects have regards to their composition. In simple terms, this refers to the art’s arrangement of elements that are visual or the ingredients that are evident in some work of art. In most cases, the composition is distinct from the art’s subject. The composition tends to take into account the principles of art. The bowl by Revere was designed and created using Silver as the basic component. The sugar box was also created using silver as the main material. In a way, such a similarity in the two objects gives them some common similarities as compared to other objects of art that are made of other materials such as gold and platinum. The two objects have a shiny service as a result of the silver being polished, giving the object a shiny look which is attractive to the viewer. Most artists prefer using silver because even after a long time, the arts will still maintain that shiny outlook, attracting warm reviews from the clients. Silver objects also have a smooth texture if well-polished. The smooth texture is evident in both the sugar box and sons of liberty bowl. To some extent, these two objects may deceive to flatter, as one may be fooled to classify them as being same. However, it is important to note that the two objects are very different, safe for the material they are made of, or the composition, which is silver (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002). Most objects in the museum are a composition of silver. This explains the notion that silver is the most preferred material in making artwork, simply because of its shiny nature.
Important to note about the two objects is the fact that they take a shape that is, to some extent, similar. Both the sugar box and sons of liberty bowl take the shape of a bowl. As such, the two objects are round and have tops that are open. They all take a shape that is round and short, to the extent that they have their own stability to stand on their own. This is unlike the other objects in the museum. To a large extent, the two are round, with bases that give them stability when placed on another object. Their openness on top and their bowl-like nature points to the fact that they may be used to serve a similar purpose, probably used by kings to take meals. The openness in top gives them a hollow perspective, meaning that they have some space in them (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002). Such similarity is very crucial in that it points to the fact that the two objects were used to serve similar functions, despite the fact that they were created at different historical times by different artists who could have had different intentions when creating them.
Despite the above-argued similarities in the two objects of art, they have distinct differences that make them independent. Although the objects are shallow in nature and have an opening at the top, the openings take a different pattern. A close look at the sugar box reveals that the opening has a small radius as compared to the radius in the middle part of the object. This means that the object is curvaceous in nature, with the middle part of the object being the widest. This shows some pattern in which the base has a small radius, then a big radius on the middle part and subsequently, a small radius on the top. This gives the object a shape of a ball, despite the fact that it is not completely round at the top. Sons of Liberty Bowl, on the other hand, do not show this pattern. As a matter of fact, Sons of Liberty Bowl has the opening as its widest part, meaning that it does not have a circular shape. Important to note is the fact that whereas sugar box takes a circular shape, Sons of Liberty Bowl has a semi-circular shape. This gives them the first difference (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002).
The second difference in the two objects is exhibited in their bases. Although the two objects have low bases that give the objects some stability, the bases are not similar whatsoever. Sons of Liberty Bowl has a round base that touches the floor when placed on an object. On the other hand, the base of sugar box is such that it has three extensions to the bowl touching the floor, meaning that the bowl does not touch the floor completely (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002). The sugar box is raised in a way while Sons of Liberty Bowl completely rests on the floor, giving it more stability.
Another recognizable difference is seen in the surfaces of the objects. Being made of a similar material, silver, both objects are smooth in texture. However, it is important to point out that sugar box has some incorporations on it, giving it a non-uniform smoothness. Some parts of the object extend outwards, while, in Sons of Liberty Bowl, the object is completely smooth in nature. On a similar note, despite the fact that both objects are hollow, sugar box has a lid while Sons of Liberty Another major difference between the two objects have different dimensions and weight. Sugar box takes the dimension of (h x w x d): 12.2 x 15.2 x 19.8 cm, while Sons of Liberty Bowl takes the dimension of 14 x 27.9 x 22. 3 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002). This difference in dimensions makes Sons of Liberty Bowl larger as compared to the sugar box. The two objects have different weights too, with sugar box weighing 29 oz as compared to Sons of Liberty Bowl’s 33 oz. Essentially; Sons of Liberty Bowl is heavier to the sugar box.
Another recognizable difference is that Sons of Liberty Bowl has inscriptions while sugar box is plain. The inscriptions recognize the role that the House of Representatives played in rescinding a letter that protested the Townshend Acts. The object has inscriptions of the names of the 92 members below the rim, which include John White, Caleb Hopkins, Nathl barber, Danl Malcom, John Homer among many more others. In a sense, this object has some historical value since it plays a part in recognizing the attempts that historical heroes played in achieving freedom in the modern times (Museum of Fine Arts, 2002).
In conclusion, the two objects above have some relevance in the study of history, in the modern day. Although they have several similarities, they have differences that give them an identity. Aspects such as texture and composition have explained the similarities that the objects have. However, in terms of shape, size and weight, the two are very different.
Museum of Fine Arts, B. (2002). Asiatic art in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, Mass: The Museum.