It’s become something of an unofficial tradition for me to go to the Museum of Fine Arts on or around my birthday. I did it last year when I turned 40, and I did it several years before that when I turned 38. Taking a day off to stroll the galleries is a simple pleasure that gives me a chance to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going, and I love surrounding myself with beautiful things–paintings, sculptures, and the like–as a reminder of how I’d like my life to be.


In characteristically warped fashion, today I want to spend my birthday contemplating death, first in an exhibit of ancient Egyptian funerary art and next (if I have time) in an exhibit of prints by Albrecht Durer. The ancient Egyptians turned preparing for the afterlife into an art, and Durer’s prints often focused on dark and otherworldly subjects. Neither probably sounds like the stuff of your normal birthday celebration, but I’ve never exactly seen myself as normal. In my mind, taking time on your birthday to remember where your life is headed isn’t morbid; it’s realistic. Although I’m not dead yet, I figure it never hurts to check out the scenery in the “neighborhood” where we all eventually end up residing.

Today’s images come from an August trip to the MFA, when I shot lots of pictures of art, images of the Museum’s Japanese garden, and a photo-set of the enormous baby heads outside the Museum’s Fenway entrance. Enjoy, and I’ll see you once I’m another year older.