PEM Announces New and Upcoming Exhibitions

Released December 05, 2006

PLEASE NOTE: Advance exhibition schedule is current as of Dec. 1, 2006. Please disregard all previous information. All information is subject to change. Please contact the Public Relations Office at (978) 745-9500 x3228 to confirm information prior to publication.


Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination
Untitled (Tilly Losch), c. 1935-8, Joseph Cornell.
April 28, 2007 - Aug. 19, 2007

Joseph Cornell is one of America's most innovative modern artists, known for his distinctive box sculptures, collages and experimental films that continue to influence many artists, writers, poets, filmmakers and designers. Co-organized by PEM and The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and curated by PEM chief curator, Lynda Hartigan, the exhibition represents the first major retrospective of this American master in 26 years. It features 180 of Cornell's artworks--making PEM the largest venue for this touring exhibition, including 30 pieces on public view for the first time. Works in Navigating the Imagination were borrowed from an international array of public and private collections. The exhibition travels to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Oct. 6, 2007--Jan. 6, 2008).


Perfect Imbalance, Exploring Chinese Aesthetics
Embroidered Panel of Roof Tiles and Calligraphy, Late 19th century.
May 19, 2007 - May 17, 2009

Chinese culture is diverse, longstanding and ever-changing. Yet common ties unite. This exhibition offers an approach to understanding Chinese culture through a study and celebration of the aesthetics of Chinese art. Objects included reveal key aesthetic clues that define the art of China, and distinguish it from art produced by neighboring regions, or art made in China for the export market. These aesthetic standards prevailed with the passing of time and foreign influences. Ultimately they are a testament to the power of art. The exhibition features 30 objects that date from the Neolithic era to 2004 in a range of media including paintings, jade, textiles, porcelain and prints.


Origami Now!
American Alligator, 2006, Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander.
June 16, 2007 - June 8, 2008

Originally developed in Asia, origami has evolved into an exciting art form explored by artists worldwide. Works in this intimately scaled exhibition in the museum's Art and Nature Center demonstrate the breadth of origami art, ranging from depictions of nature to self-portraits and abstract forms. In addition to showing masterworks of origami, the exhibition reveals connections between origami and innovations in other disciplines, such as design, medicine and math. Interactive displays give visitors of all ages opportunities to engage in the artistic process of origami.


Accidental Mysteries
Untitled (Flying carpet in NY), Anonymous photographer, Collection of John and Teenuh Foster.
June 23, 2007 - Jan. 27, 2008

Accidental Mysteries presents over 65 vintage snapshots from the collection of John and Teenuh Foster. Vernacular photography refers to the scope of photography taken for personal use: family portraits, travel albums, holiday photos and more. Many of the images contain accidental double exposures or other darkroom mistakes, creating unintentionally idiosyncratic compositions. Presented outside their intended context, the photographs become pieces of larger historical and societal movements. They also take on the reflections of the viewer, who is left to ponder the mysterious circumstances in which these photographs came to be.


Gateway Bombay

The Bombay Buccaneer, 1994, Atul Dodiya.
July 14, 2007 - Dec. 7. 2008

Bombay has served as home and vibrant inspiration for many artists, including Atul Dodiya, M.F. Husain, Bhupen Khakhar, Nalini Malani, Gieve Patel, and Sudhir Patwardhan-artists well-represented in the Museum's contemporary Indian art collection. This exhibition features works from the Herwitz collection and a dynamic installation in the Atrium by Bose Krishnamachari of video-enhanced tiffin carriers (Bombay's famous and ubiquitous lunch-boxes).


Samuel McIntire, Carving an American Style
Salem Custom House Sign, 1805, Samuel McIntire.
Oct. 13 2007 - Feb. 24, 2008

In celebration of the 250th birthday of Salem's renowned architect, the Peabody Essex Museum is holding the first major exhibition of Samuel McIntire's distinguished career as a carver of neoclassical ornaments for buildings, ships and furniture. It includes approximately 150 objects-from original architectural drawings, carvings, and sculpture, to examples of his extraordinary furniture creations-drawn from both public and private collections. Curator Dean Lahikainen, the author of the accompanying book for the show, has also selected paintings, prints, books, tools and related decorative arts objects, providing a rich context for McIntire's work.


2008 Exhibitions


Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony

Advertising Art Photography for Priscilla of Boston (detail), ca. 1950, Gift of Priscilla C. Kidder, 2003.

April 26, 2008 - Sept. 14, 2008

Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony explores the wedding ceremony as an impetus for the creation of art in cultures around the world. Spanning three centuries, this ambitious show presents diverse aesthetic and cultural themes: the dynamics of identity; tradition and changing societal values; ritual and ceremony as performing arts; artistic expressions of spirituality and religion, and displays of status and prestige. The multiple stages of the matrimonial process, including courtship and engagement, prenuptial preparations, wedding rituals and celebrations, honeymoons and newlyweds, and anniversaries, are richly represented.


Ongoing in 2007

Inspired by China: Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions

Through March 4, 2007

Inspired by China brings together approximately 30 stellar examples of historic Chinese furniture and new works designed by 22 leading artists from around the world whose response to China's rich and varied furniture traditions reveal the creative power of cross-cultural exchange. The aesthetics of Chinese furniture and decorative art have been an important source for new directions in European and American furniture - from the Chippendale style of the mid-18th century to modernist design during the1930s and 1940s. This traveling exhibition will open at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Nov. 30, 2007 and run through March 31, 2008.

The Emperor Looks West

Through March 25, 2007

Art has been used to mark important events throughout history. In China, some of the finest examples have emerged from palace workshops. In this exhibition, an exquisite court painting from the 18th century--on view for the first time in a U.S. museum--shows a banquet in the Forbidden City celebrating Emperor Qianlong's military victory in a region of western China. "Victory Banquet at the West Garden" (19’w x 20”h) is painted in ink, color, and gold on silk in the traditional hand scroll format. Other objects, including a dazzling European-style clock; a Mughal jade bowl; ceramics; enamels, and cloisonné, reflect the range of international influences that helped shape imperial art during the Qianlong era.

The Yachting Photography of Willard B. Jackson

Through May 20, 2007

Willard Bramwell Jackson (1871-1940) trained his lens on one of the yachting capitals of the world, Marblehead, Massachusetts. Shooting primarily from his powerboat Alison between 1898 and 1936, Jackson captured the many dimensions of yachting, from graceful boat designs, to the exhilaration of the sport, to the deep affinity sailors share with their vessels on the sea. Although he specialized in great sailboats, Jackson's remarkable eye and darkroom skills captured the beauty of all kinds of vessels, including steam yachts, speedboats, elegant pleasure cruisers, and the occasional naval vessel. The exhibition includes more than 50 works from the Peabody Essex Museum's collection. The Yachting Photography of Willard B. Jackson will be accompanied by the first major book on the artist's work, featuring essays by Matt Murphy, editor of WoodenBoat magazine, and Daniel Finamore, the Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Epic India: Paintings by M. F. Husain

Through June 3, 2007

The Mahabharata is one of India's oldest and most beloved epics, and the source of stories and teachings that have been part of life in India for two thousand years. M. F. Husain, India's best-known contemporary artist, first painted a series of works inspired by the epic for the 1971 Bienal de São Paulo. His vibrant imagery depicts the battle between right action and desire-central to the Mahabharata-­­­­in the language of artistic modernism. Drawn primarily from the Peabody Essex Museum's Herwitz Collection of contemporary Indian art, the exhibition features 20 works inspired by Husain's 40 year fascination with the Mahabharata.

A Sense of Place: An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
Through June 3, 2007

This exhibition presents seven large hand painted textiles by contemporary artist Betsy Sterling Benjamin. The textiles, each representing a continent, celebrate the diversity and interconnections in nature and among cultures around the globe. Objects from the museum's permanent collection are also featured in the exhibition, plus hands-on interactive stations and other activities for families. Benjamin's textiles, originally made to celebrate the millennium on each continent, reveal the unique perspective artists bring to global issues such as biodiversity and cultural awareness.

Sketched at Sea

Through Jan. 6, 2008

Sketched at Sea features a hidden treasure of the Peabody Essex Museum's maritime collections-an important selection of marine sketchbooks, many of which are being shown for the first time. The men and women who created these works were mariners, travelers, or professional artists, and they all shared the experience of the sea as the inspiration for their drawings. The pages in the sketchbooks will be frequently rotated so that visitors can regularly experience a fresh selection of artworks.

Of Gods and Mortals, Traditional Art from India


In India, art is part of the fabric of daily life. Paintings, sculpture, textiles and other art forms are used in religious practices and to express prestige and social position. The Peabody Essex Museum has recently tripled its gallery space for Indian art in order to reveal the rich diversity of the country's artistic tradition. Featuring works from the 1800s to the present, this inaugural installation includes the delicate embroideries, fine portraits and devotional images prized by maharajas, merchants, farmers and laborers.

Intersections, Native American Art in a New Light


This exhibition features approximately 90 works ranging in date from the 1600's to the present. The Peabody Essex Museum's collection of Native American art is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. Included here are exceptional historic and contemporary beadwork, textiles, ceramics, new media installations, drawings, sculpture, and paintings. The exhibitionpowerfully demonstrates multiple themes, such as ceremonial and everyday objects that convey belief and narrative, the role of women, intertribal and Native/non-Native influences, and humor and parody. All of My Life: Contemporary Works by Native American Artists (Ongoing)

This dynamic selection of sculptures and paintings in All of My Life embraces the experiences and worldviews of nine contemporary Native American artists who call upon and reinterpret both Native American painting and sculpting traditions that are thousands of years old as well as those of modern art. Artists such as Mateo Romero and David Bradley have chosen oil painting and social realism as their means of tackling the political landscape of being Native American in today's changing world. Truman Lowe interprets the Eastern

shorelines in sculpting an abstracted, suspended structure in willow. Although visitors may have expectations about what constitutes Native American art, this installation will provide opportunities to expand our understanding and knowledge about how contemporary Native artists are reinterpreting traditions and challenging conventions.


PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -

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

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