Gallery Layout


Gallery Layout

Ground Level

  • American Decorative Art

    American Art

    For more than two centuries, PEM has collected American art, including important examples of furniture, paintings, silver, glass and textiles from New England. The distinctly American works in the first-floor gallery invoke the emergence of a national identity and reflect the daily lives of men, women and children.

  • Maritime Art

    Maritime Art

    Paintings, carvings, ship models and iconic ocean liner posters celebrate human encounters with the power and beauty of the sea. PEM’s collection of historic and contemporary maritime artworks is internationally acclaimed.

  • Asian Export Art: China

    Asian Export Art: China

    Devoted to art made in China for export to the West, the gallery illustrates how the cross-cultural exchange that began in the 16th century continues today. Artwork on view reflects the intense demand for customized porcelains and metalwork, along with images that depict the Western market’s desire for spices, tea and luxury goods.

  • Art & Nature Center

    Art & Nature Center

    The redesigned and expanded Art & Nature Center has more hands-on activity stations, a new create-and-play zone for toddlers and preschoolers, new and bigger bathrooms and a private room for nursing mothers. Other new features include a drawing station, percussion and light tables, and activity boxes that are friendlier to little hands.

Level 2

  • Native American Art

    Native American Art

    Personal and ceremonial works on view are all masterful expressions of individual and community vision. They reveal the vital role of art in the daily lives of Native American people. PEM holds the oldest, ongoing collection of Native American art in this hemisphere, begun with the museum’s founding in 1799.

  • Japanese Art

    Japanese Art

    Works on view fall into several themes, including “Spirituality,” “Essence of Nature” and “World of Play.” Ancient and contemporary expressions demonstrate the diversity of aesthetic taste — from understated to ornate — that remains a vibrant part of Japanese life.

  • American Art

    American Art

    Experience artworks that celebrate the lives and sensibilities of New Englanders, from toys to furniture, home furnishings and portraits. Artists reflected the region’s distinctive historical and political character and incorporated diverse artistic and cultural influences. That unifying sense of place and identity is constantly being renewed.

  • Chinese Art

    Chinese Art

    Changing exhibitions blend the art of China and other parts of Asia. See previously unseen works from the museum’s collection, recent acquisitions, artworks borrowed from other collections and an array of contemporary art.

Level 3

  • Photography


    See frequently changing exhibitions that feature emerging artists as well as selections drawn from PEM’s collection of thousands of photographs taken since the “new” art form gained popularity worldwide in the mid-19th century.

  • Asian Export Art: Japan

    Asian Export Art: Japan

    See splendid silver, bronze sculptures, ceramics and lacquerware Japanses artists created for export to Europe beginning in the 16th century.

East India Marine Hall

  • East India Marine Hall

    East India Marine Hall

    East India Marine Hall is a National Historic Landmark, a designation reserved for the most important historic buildings in the United States. It was built in 1825 by the East India Marine Society, which founded this museum. President John Quincy Adams and other dignitaries attended the dedication ceremonies. The hall replaced the rented quarters where the society had displayed its collections from Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and the Americas. Portraits of the society’s members hang in the hall, which is furnished with some of the cabinets and objects original to the room. Considered one of the most handsome rooms in New England, East India Marine Hall was the setting for the Society’s lively dinners and parties — a tradition the museum continues today.