Released March 01, 2007
SALEM, Mass.—The Peabody Essex Museum’s record-breaking exhibition, Painting Summer in New England, has been named “Best Thematic Museum Show” by the New England chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA/USA). The AICA/USA announced the award in a ceremony this week at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
“Painting Summer in New England was a testament to the power of curator Trevor Fairbrother’s exceptionally keen and informed eye and an outstanding team of museum staff who helped bring this truly memorable exhibition and publication to life,” said Dan Monroe, executive director and CEO of the Peabody Essex Museum.
The exhibition, which was accompanied by a popular catalogue, now in its second printing, attracted more than 150,000 people to the museum during its run from April 22 to Sept. 4, 2006.
“Painting Summer in New England was not just an exhibition. It was an experience--of the dynamic conversation between art and culture, of painting as a powerful voice for communication, and of the relationship between the past and present. The show embodies so much of what the Peabody Essex Museum strives to achieve in its exhibitions and programs--advocating for the power of creativity in people's lives,” said PEM Chief Curator Lynda Hartigan.
Organized by PEM and curated by Trevor Fairbrother, the exhibition featured more than 100 paintings, ranging from the 1850s to the present. New England’s enduring capacity to attract artists to the region in the summer months was a key focus of the show. Paintings were dynamically presented in themes of sea and shore, coastal light, plant life, architecture, urban life, individuals, and New England nudes. Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Andrew Wyeth, Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Marguerite Zorach, Edward Hopper, Lois Dodd, and Alex Katz, are just some of the more than 80 artists represented in Painting Summer.
"I am honored by this award and thank everyone at the Peabody Essex Museum for their part in the project. It is never easy to secure loans for big thematic exhibitions, and it is hard to make the pictures come together in an engaging and unusual way. This award reflects on everyone's effort to turn a very open-ended theme into a special experience," said Trevor Fairbrother.
Painting Summer in New England also served as the centerpiece of Escapes North, a cultural tourism initiative that attracted visitors from around the world to the north of Boston region. Escapes North was founded by the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Peabody Essex Museum, and Essex National Heritage Commission, and funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).
The complete 2005/2006 AICA awards:
Best Thematic Museum Show New England
First Place: Painting Summer in New England; organized by the Peabody Essex Museum of Art; curator, Trevor Fairbrother
Second Place: Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History; organized by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; curator, Nato Thompson
Best Monographic Museum Show New England
First Place: Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration; organized by the Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston and the Addison Gallery of American Art; curator, Terrie Sultan
Second Place: Joan Snyder: A Painting Survey 1969-2005; organized by the Danforth Museum of Art; curator, Katherine French
Best Monographic Museum Show Boston
First Place: America Starts Here – Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler 1985-1995; organized by Skidmore College and MIT List Visual Arts Center; curators, Ian Berry and Bill Arning
Second Place: David Hockney Portraits; organized by Boston Museum of Fine Arts; curators, Sarah Howgate and Barbara Stern Shapiro
Best Thematic Museum Show Boston-area
First Place: On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West; organized by the Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; curator, Britta Erickson
Second Place: Choreographic Turn: Daria Martin, Peter Welz in Collaboration with William Forsythe; organized by MIT List Visual Arts Center; curator, Bill Arning
Best Installation or Single Work of Art in a Museum New England
First Place: Xu Bing: Any Opinions?; organized by the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; curator, Anja Chavez
Second Place: Carsten Holler: Amusement Park; organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; curators, Joe Thompson, Nato Thompson, and Larry Smallwood
Best Installation or Single Work of Art in a Museum Boston-area
First Place: Jessica Stockholder: Rawhide Harangue of Aching Indices as Told by Light; organized by Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, School of the Museum of Fine Arts; curator, Joanna Soltan
Second Place: Paul Chan: 1st Light, Momentum 5; organized by the ICA Boston; curator, Bennett Simpson
Best Show in a Commercial Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Taylor Davis; Samson Projects
Second place: Neeta Madahar: Nature Studies; Howard Yezerski Gallery
Best Show in a Commercial Gallery New England
First Place: Neal T. Walsh; Gallery Agniel, Providence, RI; curator, Sara Agniel
Second Place: New Visions: Mike Berg, Paul Chojnowski, and Ray Charles White; Harrison Gallery, Williamstown, MA; curator, Jo Ellen Harrison
Best Show of an Emerging Artist Boston-area
First Place: Joe Zane: Personality; Allston Skirt Gallery
Second Place: Gary Duehr: Car Obscura; Gallery Kayafas
Best Show in an Alternative Space Boston-area
First Place: Joe Wardwell: Solo; The Green Street Gallery; curator: James Hull
Second Place: Liz Nofziger: Grate (Black Gold); Second Gallery; curator, Rebecca Gordon
Best Monographic Show in Institutional/University Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Shintaro Miyake: The Beaver Project; organized by the Sara and David Bakalar Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art; curator, Lisa Tung
Second Place: Penelope Jencks; organized by Boston University School of the Visual Arts, 808 Gallery; curator, Lynne Cooney
Best Group Show in Institutional/University Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Pattern Language: Clothing as Communicator; organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery; curator, Judith Fox
Second Place: Four Artists in Search of the Intangible; organized by Trustman Art Gallery at Simmons College; curator, Bob Oppenheim
Best Group Show in Institutional/University Gallery or Non-Profit Space, New England
First Place: From Baja to Bar Harbor: Transnational Contemporary Art; organized by The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. Portland, Maine; curator, Toby Kamps
Second Place: Voice: Women in Contemporary Art; organized by the Providence Art Club. Providence, RI; curator, Kara Walker
Best Group Show in a Commercial Gallery Boston-area
First Place: Don't Abandon the Ship; Allston Skirt Gallery; curator, Eddie Martinez
Second Place: Katherine Jackson, Pamela Harris, Eva Lee, William Weiss: New Works on Paper; O.H +T Gallery
Best Project in a Public Space Boston-area
First Place: Michael Dowling, Medicine Wheel; Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts
Second Place: Ellen Driscoll, Filament/Firmament; Cambridge Arts Council; curator, Hafthor Yngvason
Best Architecture or Design Show
First Place: A Chain of Events: Modernist Architecture on the Outer Cape: Marcel Breuer to Charles Jencks; organized by the Provincetown Art Association and Museum; curators, Bob Bailey and Peter McMahon
Second Place: Light My Fire: Rock Posters from the Summer of Love; organized by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; curator, Patrick Murphy
Best Historical Show Boston-area
First Place: Gentile Bellini and the East; organized by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; curators, Alan Chong and Caroline Campbell
Second Place: Frank Stella 1958; organized by Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum; curators, Harry Cooper and Megan R. Luke
Best Exhibition of Time Based Art Boston-area (Film, Video, and Performance)
First Place: Brian Knep: Deep Wounds; Memorial Hall, Harvard University; organized by the Office of the Arts at Harvard and Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
Second Place: ArtRages Festival; organized by Mobius
Second Annual AICA/ New England Special Recognition Award
Jill Medvedow, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
The New England chapter of AICA/USA is the first chapter outside New York City to initiate regional awards in visual arts selected by the area’s member art critics. AICA, the only organization to award excellence in museum and gallery exhibitions, was founded in 1949 as a non-governmental affiliate of UNESCO. The Paris-based Association Internationale des Critiques d”Art (AICA) comprises 4,000 members in 74 national sections around the world. The organization aims to further and protect the field of art criticism, to facilitate international communications among critics, and to act on behalf of the physical preservation and moral defense of works of art. AICA/USA is the largest national section of the international organization with some 300 members.