Art & Nature Center
Completely redesigned, the expanded Art & Nature Center showcases original exhibitions that investigate our interconnections with nature through contemporary art, memorable objects and interactive experiences. Designed for visitors of all ages, the new family-friendly center features changing exhibitions, hands-on displays and art-making spaces.
Changing Art & Nature Exhibitions
These revolving shows explore timely topics at the interface of human experience and the natural world.
Our exhibition, Branching Out: Trees as Art, opened September 27th. Come explore art inspired by and made with trees!
Check out all of our Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions below.
Art & Nature Displays
Discover art and natural specimens from the museum's collection that reveal stories about our evolving relationship with nature. Interactive sculptures and exploratory stations also invite you to play and invent as you investigate your own connections with the environment. The Investigate! Zone, with its fun things to do and create on low tables, shows toddlers and preschoolers there's a place here for them, too!
Exercise your creativity at PEM! Visit the Art Nook and Create Space for a wide range of drop-in programs and art-making workshops. (See the Events Calendar for details.)
Check out the latest blog posts about the center by Meg Winikates, Art & Nature Center Programs Coordinator at Connected.
- Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
- October 19, 2013 to September 7, 2014
- Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
- June 18, 2011 to July 8, 2012
- Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
- June 19, 2010 to May 22, 2011
- Trash Menagerie
- June 20, 2009 to May 23, 2010
- Polar Attractions
- June 28, 2008 to June 7, 2009
- Origami Now!
- June 16, 2007 to June 8, 2008
- A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
- December 16, 2006 to June 3, 2007
- Owls in Art and Nature
- October 1, 2005 to December 3, 2006
- In Nature's Company
- October 9, 2004 to September 18, 2005
Related events For families
Thomas Hart Benton painted stories about American people and mined Hollywood for his signature style. Through music, film and conversations with the curators, discover how Benton played a leading role in 20th-century American art.
10 am-5 pm | Special Exhibition Galleries | Level 3
The Root Farmers
Noon-1:30 pm | Atrium
Enjoy traditional fiddle styles including Appalachian old-time, blues, bluegrass, Cajun, Irish and swing.
In Conversation with Curators of Art and Film
2-3 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 4
Join Austen Barron Bailly, The George Putnam Curator of American Art and exhibition lead curator, and film expert Matthew Bernstein as they explore the deep connection between Benton's art and Hollywood, as well as Bernstein's role as film curator for the exhibition. Bailly and Bernstein segue to an in-depth discussion of The Grapes of Wrath.
The Grapes of Wrath
3:30-6 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 4
The Grapes of Wrath is director John Ford's classic adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel illustrated by Thomas Hart Benton. This film, starring Henry Fonda, captures the impact of the Great Depression on one representative family - the Joads. 1940, 129 minutes. Introduction by film expert Matthew Bernstein.
Made possible by The Lowell Institute
The Peabody Essex Museum is proud to participate in the annual Free Fun Fridays program sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation. On Friday, June 26, 2015, PEM will open its doors with free general admission to visitors all day long. Please note that tickets to Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House are not included.
Free Fun Fridays is a program that includes 66 museums and cultural venues across Massachusetts. Each Friday this summer, there will be between five and eight venues open for free. The program begins Friday, June 26, and runs through Friday, August 28. For the full program schedule and to learn more about Free Fun Fridays, please visit: www.highlandstreet.org.