Five Tables

First Thursdays of each month

Five Tables is a monthly event coinciding with First Free Thursdays organized by the BAMPFA staff, and periodically by the Student Committee. Drop by the Florence Helzel Works on Paper Study Center for a curated behind-the-scenes experience.

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  • Pan Gongkai: Flowers of the Four Seasons, 2015 (detail); handscroll: ink and colors on paper; BAMPFA, gift of the artist in honor of James Cahill.

  • Elaine Mayes: Pegasus, from American Roads, 1972; gelatin silver print; BAMPFA, gift of Robert Harshorn Shimshak and Marion Brenner.

  • Unknown artist (China): Lady with a Rosary, 17th century; hanging scroll: ink and color on paper; BAMPFA, gift of James Cahill.

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Events

  • Thursday, September 1, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Still Lifes

    Still lifes make small promises that offer large pleasures, come to the lower-level Study Center and enjoy. 

  • Thursday, August 4, 4—7 PM

    CANCELED: Five Tables of Birds

    No binoculars required. Bird-watching has never been easier than a hike to the lower-level Study Center.

    This event has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



  • Thursday, July 7, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Portraits, Part II

    Delve deeper into the Study Center’s collections in this second showing of portraits of the noble, notable, and notorious.

  • Thursday, June 2, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Dance

    Take a look at the expressive body across cultures.

  • Thursday, May 5, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of What We Hold

    Looking back at the history of images, there is a vast array of objects and meanings embedded in what we hold in our hands. Works on view include: a 1636 engraving featuring Prince Thomas of Saboye-Carignang, a mezzotint of Queen Elizabeth I from 1816, a seventeenth-century Chinese hanging scroll, and more.

  • Thursday, April 7, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Identifying Markers

    Works on view include Japanese prints featuring the bold nesting boxes crest of the Ichikawa family of Kabuki actors; Albrecht Dürer’s distinctive mark, placed on engravings such as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; now-nostalgic commercial logos, like the Pegasus symbol in Elaine Mayes’s mistily radiant roadside photograph; and more.

  • Thursday, March 3, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Foliage

    A showcase of different interpretations of spring, with works by Pan Gongkai, Ronald Iliardo, Hans Werner Kalkmann, and many others chosen by the BAMPFA Student Committee.

  • Thursday, February 3, 3–5 PM

    Five Tables of the Color Red

    This month’s Five Tables display features political posters, landscape scrolls, conceptual correspondence, and more—all in the color red.

  • Thursday, January 6, 4–7 PM

    Five Tables of Shadows

    This month’s Five Tables display brings together mezzotints and atmospheric photographs that highlight the theme of shadows.