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Art at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Chestnut Hill

  • The art collection at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Chestnut Hill features works by local, regional and internationally known artists in public spaces and patient areas throughout the state-of-the-art facility.

    Each piece of artwork was selected to help create a soothing environment and offer patients, family members, and staff moments of inspiration and reflection during stressful times.

    Here are examples of some of the art you will find at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Chestnut Hill.


  • Maya Freelon, Historical Significance, 2019
  • Maya Freelon
    Historical Significance, 2019
    Tissue paper and archival adhesive
    30 x 40"
    Gift of the family of Jane B. Mayer

    Maya Freelon Asante is an award-winning artist whose artwork was described by her godmother and namesake, Maya Angelou, as "visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being." Her unique work with tissue paper was praised by the International Review of African American Art as a "vibrant, beating assemblage of color," and she was named one of "five young artists to watch" during Miami Art Week 2019.

    Freelon earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The artist has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica, and Swaziland.

    Maya Freelon's work is deeply tied to her family heritage, a lineage which includes both sharecroppers and pioneering African American artists. The title of the series is Historical Significance, referencing her grandmother and sister, who taught her how to make quilts when she was young. "Maximizing the minimal," they always used to say. She explores themes such as preservation and the nature of fragility in her tissue paper works that rip, tear, and break down in the process, and is continually experimenting with new and innovative techniques to create her monumental tissue quilts and sculptures.

    Historical Significance can be viewed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Chestnut Hill, Waiting Area, Level 4.



  • Darwin Estacio Martinez, Blue chairs, 2019
  • Darwin Estacio Martinez
    Blue chairs, 2019
    Oil on canvas
    20.5 x 62"
    Gift of Tobey and Richard Oresman

    Darwin Estacio Martinez was born in 1982 in Manzanillo, Cuba. He is a graduate of the Professional Academy of Fine Arts "El Alba" in Holguin, Cuba, and the Higher Institute of Arts, Havana, and is currently a professor at the National Fine Arts Academy, San Alejandro, and the Higher Institute of Arts, Havana.

    Martínez's vibrantly colored work leads us into his exciting world of nostalgic imagery. He piques the curiosity of the viewer through the body language of his truncated figures. One is left to wonder what is being said between his mysterious subjects. This lack of context allows the viewer to connect with the work and apply the narratives that resonate most with them as individuals.

    Blue chairs can be viewed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Chestnut Hill, Waiting Area, Level 4.



  • Rafael Barrios, Vertical Dislocado, 2012
  • Rafael Barrios
    Vertical Dislocado, 2012
    Hand lacquered steel
    15.7 x 36"
    Gift of Helen Lin

    Best known for his brightly colored public sculptures, Rafael Barrios is considered one of the most significant artists of conceptual Latin American art and creator of a movement known as "virtualism." Through his work, he proposes an alteration of the observer's perceptive mental state by manipulating form with the purpose of dislocating our convictions of what we believe we are seeing.

    Born in 1947 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Barrios was raised in Venezuela and studied Fine Arts in Canada, the United States, and Venezuela. Upon completion of his studies, Barrios received a scholarship from New York University to attend its Graduate Program for Fine Arts and Monumental Sculpture Techniques.

    In 1973, renowned futurist Marshall McLuhan said in a lecture at the University of Toronto, "The work of Rafael Barrios is like fresh fruit for thought." Rafael Barrios plays with shapes, altering the laws of geometry, fabling volume in space. His sculptures are characterized by breaking orthodox directionality, accessing new possibilities of perception.

    Watch a video presentation of Vertical Dislocado.

    Vertical Dislocado can be viewed at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Chestnut Hill, Atrium Lobby, Level 2.

  • NASA airplane model

    Planes and Rockets

    Learn about the Jean S. & Frederic A. Sharf Aerospace Collection at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Chestnut Hill.