News-Antique.com - Nov 05,2013 - As guests enter this year’s Boston International Fine Art Show (BIFAS) November 21-24 they will be greeted by something truly astounding. This year’s Special Exhibition is a stained glass triptych by John La Farge (1835-1910). Each of the three panels will be backlit and stand some ten feet tall by three feet wide. The windows were saved and purchased from the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, Massachusetts, by William Vareika of William Vareika Fine Arts and then gifted to the McMullen Museum of art at Boston College in September of this year by he and his wife Alison.
BIFAS, co-produced by Tony Fusco and Robert Four, is now in its 17th year. The show opens on November 21st at The Cyclorama at The Boston Center for the Arts with its Gala Preview from 5:30 to 8:30pm, benefiting Shiners Hospitals For Children – Boston. Philanthropic partygoers will indulge in the fine wines and delicacies of Provence, France provided by Comite Mistral. Tickets to the gala are $250 and may be purchased by calling 617-371-4746. The weekend show continues on Friday 1pm-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm and Sunday 11am-5pm with 40 galleries displaying over 3,000 pieces of fine art. Tickets are $15, under 12 free. For information, visit www.FineArtBoston.com or call 617-363-0405.
“On offer at the show will be a variety of works, from original prints priced at a few hundred dollars to museum-quality masterpieces,” says BIFAS co-producer Tony Fusco. “BIFAS has always been an art event that can be appreciated by absolutely anyone who steps onto the show floor.”
In addition to the display, there will be a Special Program on the La Farge triptych on Friday, November 22nd at 6:00pm. William Vareika will speak about his personal journey of discovering John La Farge and consequently a lifelong love of art. Others on the panel include Roberto Rosa, Principal, Serpentino Stained Glass, Inc. discussing his experience restoring La Farge glass windows; and Nancy Netzer Director of the McMullen Museum of Art, who will speak on the history and future of the McMullen Museum celebrates its twentieth year.
Originally designed for the All Souls Unitarian Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1889, the three windows on view at BIFAS were moved to Amherst in the 1920s. They remained there until this year when Vareika stepped forward to purchase and preserve the pieces, allowing for their restoration and for the church to expand in the space where they once stood. William Vareika is no stranger to rescuing the phenomenal work of John La Farge. On two previous occasions he has stepped forward to lead campaigns to preserve and restore stained glass treasures by this renowned American artist.
“Like with my earlier Salve Regina University and Newport Congregational Church projects, my motivation with the Amherst triptych was to keep them intact,” explains Vareika. “My proposal pledged to keep the three intact and to gift them to Boston College, a Catholic Jesuit institution where the windows would be appreciated for their ecclesiastical subject matter as well as important