SALEM, MA -- This March and April, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is pleased to present four new installations as well as open an innovative Maker Lounge in one of the oldest sections of the museum. Opening in the forthcoming weeks, PEM's installations spotlight the museum's collections of Native American art, Chinese art, Indian art as well as color photography by Robert Weingarten.

On Saturday, March 29, PEM opens a Maker Lounge to encourage technological experimentation and foster creativity. Juliette Fritsch, PEM's chief of education and interpretation explains, "The area will be a safe environment for experimentation with forward thinking design and interdisciplinary programs that foster problem solving, including opportunities to develop games, electronic music, digital art and performance mash-ups."  

NEW! Maker Lounge| Opening March 29, 2014

In the Robinson Gallery, the oldest part of the museum, PEM is opening a Maker Lounge -- an exciting space dedicated to cutting-edge innovation and individual creativity. Tapping into a subculture of those interested in engineering, innovation and unique applications of technologies, PEM will feature workshops for 3-D printing enthusiasts, crafters and those who are part of the evolving maker movement.

With PEM's roots in bringing handmade objects from the other side of the world, the Maker Lounge encourages new forms of creative expression through human ingenuity. Participants can expect to see separate activity areas, high top work tables, tools and materials in a modular and industrial setting like an architect's atelier.  The creative space will include ambient music, I-pads and universal phone chargers. Activities will range from pull down packets that contain design challenges like how to quickly make your own chair to workshops conducted by top innovators such as the MIT Media Lab.

6:30 a.m., Robert Weingarten

On view March 29, 2014 to 2016                   

rwIn January 2003, at 6:30 a.m., Robert Weingarten launched his photographic odyssey. Over the course of the year, he made daily exposures at precisely 6:30 a.m., maintaining an identical combination of camera, 350-millimeter lens, slow-speed film and viewpoint overlooking Santa Monica Bay. Five of his large-scale, luminous photographs of Malibu capture what the artist calls "the fleeting nature of a particular confluence of light, and conditions that render a moment dramatic and singular."

Weingarten's photographs engage a long tradition of photographing in sequence, chronicling the way a scene changes from moment to moment, and day to day. The bold, immersive colors also call to mind works of American Expressionist artists, especially Mark Rothko, whose color field paintings have influenced generations of artists. Weingarten reminds us that it is not always necessary to travel to make great photographs, and that sometimes the best art is made close to home.

Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast

On view April 5, 2014 to mid-2016

rmgExplore the dynamic relationships among living humans, animals, ancestors and supernatural beings through works of Native art from the Pacific Northwest Coast created during the past 200 years. Ceremonial regalia, trade goods and art sold in galleries today reveal creative expressions of family, heritage, politics and commerce in a changing world. Raven's Many Gifts presents artworks that convey broadly shared aesthetic and cultural traditions while emphasizing the distinctiveness of various indigenous communities and their artists. The themes - Living Stories, Family Connections and Market Innovations - feature objects from PEM's renowned collection of Native American art from the Northwest Coast. The Raven in the installation's title is the Northwest Coast culture hero who brought light to the world.

Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art

On view April 5, 2014 to mid-2016

dhCome and experience the liveliness of a drinking party, the opulence of a royal wedding and poetic evocation of spring on a delicate dish. With more than 30 highlights from the museum's wide-ranging Chinese collection spanning 3,000 years, this exhibition celebrates China's artistic achievements crystallized in seasonal festivals, religious ceremonies and celebrations. Discover plants and animals, myths and symbols and decipher the Chinese character for "Double Happiness."

Figuring the Abstract in Indian Art

On view April 5, 2014 to May 31, 2015

fgThis installation of 20th-century paintings and 15th- to 19th-century sculptures explores the concept of abstraction as a vehicle for embodying form and meaning. Moving beyond culture and across time, these works consider style, structure and color, as well as the figurative, metaphorical and idealized as key facets of the abstract.

The works on view are drawn from PEM's Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, the most important holding of 20th-century contemporary art from India in this country, the Dr. Leo Figiel Collection of bronze sculpture and The Tina and Anil Ambani Collection, one of India's leading private collections.

Robert Weingarten, 6:30A.M. 12/11/03 #129 © Robert Weingarten.

Mask, ca. 1845. Heiltsuk (Bella Bella). Central coast, British Columbia. Wood, pigment. H: 13 in, W: 12 1/2 in. Gift of Mr. Edward S. Moseley, 1979. E28575.

Bowl with dragons, phoenixes, gourds, and characters for happiness. Artists in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Qing dynasty, Guangxu period, late 1880s. Porcelain with transparent glaze and overglaze polychrome enamels and gilding. Gift of the Conger Collection, 1991 E76744. Photo by Walter Silver/ PEM. This bowl was used in the 1880s probably in one of the most lavish royal weddings in Chinese history.

You-July '70, 1970. Biren De, 1926 - 2011. Oil on canvas. 51 x 52 inches (129.5 x 132 cm). The Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, E301118.


Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian export, Native American, African, Oceanic, maritime and photography collections. In addition to its vast holdings, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and a newly redesigned interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House, a 200?year?old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructures and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

INFO: Call 866?745?1876 or visit

PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

Dinah Cardin  -  Press Officer / Special Projects Writer  -  978-542-1830  -

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