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Part of a Landmark $650M+ Campaign, Peabody Essex Museum to Open 40,000-sq-ft Wing and 13 New Galleries and Exhibitions by September

  • SALEM, Massachusetts
  • /
  • March 28, 2019

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Peabody Essex Museum

On September 28, 2019, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Mass., will open a 40,000-square-foot wing designed by Ennead Architects, New York. The expansion and renovation—a component of the museum’s landmark $650M+ Connect Campaign — features new installations, a light-filled atrium, an entry and facilities for school and group tours, new linkages and traffic flow to existing galleries, and a 5,000-square-foot garden designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. As part of a $16M, museum-wide initiative associated with the expansion project to create entirely new experiences of virtually all of the museum’s collections by 2022, PEM is unveiling thirteen new exhibitions and collection-based art experiences by September. Each gallery offers new perspectives that are designed to create experiences of exploration, discovery, and engagement with exceptional works of art.

“The September opening of a dramatic new wing and galleries, a beautiful garden with multiple water features, and innovative, and highly-engaging installations of historical and contemporary art drawn from PEM collections marks an extremely exciting new phase in the museum’s evolution,” said Dan Monroe, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO. “The new art experiences we are creating extend the museum’s commitment to creativity, new ideas, and new perspectives.”

Installations and exhibitions opening by September include:

Maritime Art Gallery: PEM’s collection, which is the finest in the country, capitalizes on its strengths to frame the sea as an enduring source of opportunity as well as peril, a force that inspires artistic creativity and innovation, and encourages engagement with the wider world.

Asian Export Art Gallery: showcases PEM’s collection, which is foremost in the world. The gallery explores artistic and cultural exchange as a catalyst for creativity and celebrates the interplay of commerce and creative expression.

Fashion & Design Gallery: combines traditionally disparate collecting fields to explore how we are designing creatures who continually manipulate, respond to, and mold our changing world. The installation features selections from Iris Apfel’s Rare Bird of Fashion collection.

The Pod: a new gallery in PEM's Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center, investigates our relationship to nature through contemporary art installations, memorable objects, hands-on activities, and interactive experiences.

Kimsooja: Archive of Mind invites you to roll up your sleeves and participate in a meditative sculptural installation. As thousands of visitors contribute, a monumental, texturally-complex clay sculpture emerges.

A Lasting Momento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min takes you to 19th-century China through 80 striking landscapes, city views, and portrait studies from a rare and celebrated photography collection.

Powerful Figures features sculptures from around the world that embody the dual concepts of power, as both a fundamental social dynamic and an expression of our innate wiring to respond to figures and faces.

Vanessa Platacis: Taking Place is a site-specific installation that reimagines PEM’s collections through hand-cut stencil paintings that create unexpected connections across time periods, cultures, and materials.

Charles Sandison: Figurehead 2.0 presents an immersive, dynamic projection installation in East India Marine Hall that is inspired by PEM’s vast collection of 19th-century ships’ logs and sailors’ journals.

Yoan Capote: Immanence is a monumental steel sculpture that addresses Cuba’s resilient citizenry as well as the social and political forces that have shaped the country for more than half a century.

The Creative Legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Selections from the Phillips Library Collection is the first exhibition in a new gallery dedicated to showcasing works from the museum’s research library.

Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction explores the innovative, prolific career of an influential American modern artist who made deep contributions to the artistic landscape of New England.

Where the Questions Live is a site-specific, multi-sensory installation by Wes Sam-Bruce that investigates the connections, metaphors, and experiences of human beings within the natural world.

Over the course of the next three years, PEM will open even more new installations of its collections–including American and Native American Art; Photography; Chinese and Chinese Export Art; Japanese and Japanese Export Art; Korean Art; South Asian Art; Oceanic Art; a Meditation Gallery; a new installation in East India Marine Hall; and a new gallery dedicated to Yin Yu Tang, PEM’s Chinese House.


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