Art and the Camera

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
December 6–March 25

F. Holland Day (1864–1933), monied Boston aesthete and eccentric, took up Pictorialist photography in his twenties and became one of its most artful and popular proponents. Working in an allegorical style that recalled Julia Margaret Cameron, he turned out moody portraits and vaguely homoerotic male nudes, most in rich, warm-toned platinum prints. For his most famous and controversial series, Day starved himself for weeks, grew his hair long, and posed on the cross in little but a crown of thorns. Nearly all of Day's work was lost in a 1904 fire, but what survives retains a heady perfume of ecstatic abandon.