This month brings the public opening of a new 40,000-square-foot wing at Salem’s glorious Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The $125 million expansion, designed by Ennead Architects, features 15,000 square feet of new gallery space, a light-filled atrium, and a 5,000-square-foot garden.
The new wing and adjacent renovated galleries will feature fresh installations of the museum’s collections and exciting new commissioned work. #NewPEM
The public opening of the new wing happens September 28-29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission will be free. Tour the new space, enjoy live music, art making and performances throughout the day. General admission is free.
On the first floor of the new wing, PEM’s Maritime Art collection explores stories of seafaring, including Salem’s rich history of maritime trade. One arresting object is a calendar stick from 1803 with notches carved to record the days that Rhode Islander James Drown spent shipwrecked and left for dead on Tristan Da Cunha, a speck of an island in the South Atlantic.
On the second floor, PEM’s Asian Export Art collection focuses on the ingenuity of objects that are created by blending artistic traditions and technologies in substances like porcelain, textiles, tea, ivory, and silver. The Asian Export Art installation will examine the long effect of the opium trade and it relates to the present-day opioid crisis.
On the third floor, PEM’s Fashion & Design unifies two collecting fields to better understand artistic manipulation of the world around us. Ensembles from Iris Apfel’s Rare Bird of Fashion collection celebrate remixing and inventive styling by a major fashion icon.
A new gallery that showcases the museum’s research library opens with The Creative Legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne: Selections from the Phillips Library Collection. PEM’s Phillips Library collection includes over 3,000 individual volumes by the author. The exhibit examine the artistry of bookmaking and printing, from cover designs to typography.
Next to the new wing, renovated galleries feature new installations like Powerful Figures, eight sculptures from disparate cultures around the world and across time.
Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. Map.