As you walk through the museum galleries this week, you probably noticed the circular dots that have appeared on gallery walls, platforms and exhibition cases. What exactly are these “thought bubbles” popping up throughout the museum galleries?
Close inspection reveals they are notices that works from the PEM collection will be on view in the loan exhibition at the Winter Antiques Show in New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, starting tomorrow, January 24, and running through February 2.
Fresh Take, Making Connections at the Peabody Essex Museum features 50 works from the museum’s collection on view for the 60th annual Winter Antiques Show Diamond Jubilee.
The exhibition is the culmination of many months of work by museum staff to select a diverse group of works that represent the strengths and distinctiveness of PEM’s collection. Curators working under the guidance of Chief Curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan proposed works that underscore the expansiveness and significance of the museum’s collection. These include signature works such as the portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne; wood carvings by Samuel McIntire; an ebony and ivory armchair from Vizagapatam, India; a 16th-century astrolabe; Chinese export porcelain carp tureens; the Stamp Act Repeal’d teapot; a carved and painted mask depicting a Haida noblewoman and the Ethiopian icon that illustrated the cover of Paul Simon’s Graceland album.
These diverse works will be displayed in thematic groupings: Shaping Identity, Imagining Place, Navigating the World, Inscribing Meaning, Designing Life, Serving Culture, Embodying Spirit and Celebrating Style. Behind the scenes, a team of registrars, collections managers, conservators, mount makers and exhibition planning staff have been busy preparing each of these works for shipping and display in the exhibition.
Curators, editors, photographers and creative services staff developed and designed articles, brochures and other interpretive materials that will accompany the exhibition. Exhibition planning staff coordinated with Winter Antiques Show representatives and the exhibition designer on all details of this project. More than 20 museum staff will travel to New York to participate in the installation of the exhibition, speak at lectures and programs or staff the exhibition and information table throughout the show.
Check back again soon for additional blog posts about PEM at the Winter Antique Show and hear what audiences in New York think about our featured exhibition.