Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is Peabody Essex the most exciting Boston-area museum?

From my essay on the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem in this week’s Boston Phoenix:
Could the Peabody Essex Museum be the Boston area’s most exciting art museum right now? It’s a question nobody would have asked five or 10 years ago. But a string of excellent shows — in particular this past summer’s landmark Joseph Cornell retrospective, but also the current “Wedded Bliss” — has placed the Salem museum squarely in the same league as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and other top-rank museums around the country.

The transition, which Boston is only beginning to recognize, has been some 15 years in the making, including a merger, a building expansion, more exhibitions, and increasingly ambitious shows. The Cornell show, Peabody Essex chief curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan told me this past December, “really is about signaling, in as direct a way as we could think of, that we mean business about doing work in the modern- and contemporary-art arena.”
Read the rest here.

Pictured from top to bottom: The Peabody Essex's atrium; chief curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan and director Dan Monroe.


Blogger Hawthorne Hotel said...

An excellent article. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and in fact have linked it to our blog for the Hawthorne Hotel, so our guests might read it as well.

Thanks so much.

Juli Lederhaus

July 24, 2008 at 2:53 PM  

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