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FreePort [No.004]: 'Shipbreaking'
Peabody Essex Museum, 2012

Filmmaker Peter Hutton and model maker Michael Wall discuss the inspiration for Shipbreaking, a one-of-a-kind ship model created for FreePort [no.004]. The model reflects the ship salvaging activities seen in Peter Hutton's 2007 film  At Sea. This model and Peter Hutton's film are on view in PEM's Putnam Gallery through June 30, 2012.

FreePort [No.004]: Peter Hutton's 'Two Rivers'
Peabody Essex Museum, 2011

Peter Hutton's first contribution to FreePort no.004 is Two Rivers. Seen for the first time in public in a dual-screen presentation, Two Rivers takes us on two simultaneous voyages- the Hudson River in New York and the Yangtze River in China.

FreePort [No. 003]: Susan Philipsz 'If I With You Would Go'
Peabody Essex Museum, 2011

Susan Philipsz is the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Turner Prize - an annual award bestowed on the best contemporary British artist under age 50. In this artist interview filmed at PEM in 2011, Philipsz talks about If I With You Would Go, her original, site-specific sound installation in PEM's East India Marine Hall. 

This artwork is featured as part of PEM's FreePort project, an ongoing initiative that brings living artists into a unique dialogue with PEM and its audiences. Check our exhibition page for FreePort works on display today.

Images of Francis Child and his collection of ballads have been provided by the Houghton Library at Harvard University.

FreePort [No. 002]: Marianne Mueller's 'Any House Is a Home'
Peabody Essex Museum, 2011

Swiss artist Marianne Mueller looks back at her contribution to PEM's FreePort project Any House Is a Home. In her exhibition, objects and images from PEM's collection merge and mingle with images of Salem and with Mueller’s own work to create a contemporary conversation that is colorful and complex. The installation is on view in PEM's Photography Gallery through early 2012. Don't miss it!

Boudewijn Zwart, Westerkerk Carilloneur
Peabody Essex Museum 2011

Visit PEM's YouTube channel to hear Boudewijn Zwart play complete musical arrangements by Bach, Led Zeppelin, Philip Glass and others.


Find out about Jan van der Heyden's painting, View of the Westerkerk, by visiting PEM's exhibition page for Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. While exploring the exhibition, download free carillon bell ringtones for your mobile phone and re-create your own carillon with our free sample library.





Moshe Safdie
World-renowned architect, urban planner

Moshe Safdie designed the imaginative glass and brick building expansion for
PEM in 2003 to reflect Salem’s architectural history with contemporary
flair. The result weaves together a building of many parts into a seamless,
inspired structure for viewing art and culture from around the world.
The dramatic Atrium with a soaring glass roof is the central gathering
place, akin to the traditional village green. The curved glass of the roof
allows natural light into the Atrium, creating an airy space and walkways
that lead visitors into galleries, the Art Studios and the performance
center in Morse Auditorium. Five diverse roof silhouettes or “buildings”
that comprise the outer brick wall echo the shapes and forms of local
Safdie’s expansive portfolio includes the ArtScience Museum in Singapore,
the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Children’s Memorial at the Yad
Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, Habitat ‘67 experimental
housing in Montreal, and the United States Courthouse in Springfield, Mass.
To watch Safdie talk about his vision for the PEM expansion, click here.
For a closer look at Safdie and his projects, visit

Sensational India! 2011
Peabody Essex Museum, April 2-3, 2011

Sensational India! honors PEM's longstanding relationship with India and features India's remarkable arts - visual art, dance and music. Ongoing art activities, gallery tours, storytelling and more.


Made possible in part by Samir and Nilima Desai; The Desai Family Foundation.



FreePort [No.001]: Charles Sandison's 'Figurehead'
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010-2011

Charles Sandison reflects on his installation for PEM's FreePort no.001


Sandison brings the East India Marine Hall into dazzling new light with 'Figurehead,' a writhing sea of handwritten words and drawings that twist and flow across the museum's historic East India Marine Hall. The projected words and images were gathered by Sandison while exploring ship logs and sailor's journals at PEM's own Phillips Library.


This installation is on view through April 24th, 2011. Don't miss it! For more information about FreePort, click on the Exhibitions tab at

Westerkerk Carillon -  View from the Tower

The 51 bells of the Westerkerk can be heard all over the west end of Amsterdam. They chime every quarter hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also hear them during museum hours at the Peabody Essex Museum in the exhibition  “Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks for the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection.”

On Tuesdays at noon, Boudewijn Zwart, city carillonneur for Amsterdam, climbs the 255 steps to the top of the Westeroren (West Tower) to play music on the carillon, a piano-like instrument connected to the Westerkerk’s many bells. In this excerpt, Zwart plays “Baletto del Granduca,” a piece by 17th-century Dutch composer Jan Pieterszn Sweelinck. Listen to the full performance and several others on PEM's YouTube channel. Click on the YouTube link at the bottom of this page.

Meet Jim Drago, PEM Security Guard
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010

Ever since he became a PEM security guard in 1993, Jim Drago has used his own brand of humor to brighten the lives of PEM staff and guests. Maybe he will have a joke for you the next time you visit. 

Animation 101: Artist Pell Osborn and PEM Kids
Peabody Essex Museum, October 2010

EIMA families and friends came together on October 3, 2010 for an afternoon of illusion and exploration in the Art and Nature Center's exhibition, Eye Spy, Playing with Perception. See the incredible animation video they created that day!



LineStorm's website

Opening Day, Eye Spy: Michael Macaulay's "Undiscovered."
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010

To celebrate the opening day of Eye Spy, Playing with Perception, exhibition artist Michael Macaulay created a chalk mural on the floor of PEM's Atrium. As delighted visitors looked on, Macaulay's mural, Undiscovered, transforms from a simple black backdrop into three dimensional fun.

Behind the Scenes: Installing Anish Kapoor's "Halo 2006"
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010

On loan from The Tina and Anil Ambani Collection of contemporary art from India, renowned artist Anish Kapoor’s sculpture "Halo 2006" arrived at PEM in early 2010. In this video, watch as the PEM crew unpacks and installs his immense stainless steel masterpiece.

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
Peabody Essex Museum, 2009

A short interview with style icon Iris Apfel, produced for the exhibition, Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel.

Artist Profile: Ron Labbe, Eye Spy Featured Artist
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010

Ron Labbe, one of the featured artists in Eye Spy, creates stereoscopic art and photography. See a range of historic and contemporary 3-D imagery as Labbe shares fascinating facts about 3-D and how it works.

Student Discoveries: 5th Graders report on Salem's International Trade History at PEM
Peabody Essex Museum, 2010

5th graders from Salem's Witchcraft Heights School report on Salem's history as a dynamic international trade port.

The Cancuen Panel
PEM, 2010
PEM, 2010
Fiery Pool: The Maya And The Mythic Sea
PEM, 2010