Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (5).jpg

Last Chance! These must see 2019 shows are closing soon: Don’t miss ICA Watershed Purple (installation view above) closing September 2;  DeCordova New England Biennial and the Provincetown Art Association & Museum’s 1945 Chaim Gross exhibition close September 15; and catch Renoir at the Clark before it’s gone September 22nd.

A few of the listed upcoming exhibitions to note: the NEW building and exhibits at PEM are opening September 2019; Homer at the Beach is on display at Cape Ann Museum thru December 1 (and catch a Richard Ormond lecture on John Singer Sargent’s Charcoals Sept.28 at Cape Ann Museum (ahead of the Morgan exhibition opening October);  three new shows opening at MFA; Gordon Parks at Addison; and Alma Thomas at Smith. A Seuss-focused experience was pronounced destined for Boston, ahead of its TBD venue, by the LA entertainment company co-founders. Some shows I’ve already visited and may write about, mostly from a dealer’s perspective as that is my background. Exhibition trends continue to evolve and reveal new directions. A few patterns I see in the exhibition titles: what’s annointed for display and how it’s contextualized (corrective labels); immersive exhibits; revisiting colonial methodologies and themes; major solo surveys; women artists (and this upcoming season boost underscoring womens’ suffrage and 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote); illustration; environment; and issues of humanity and migration. The list is illustrated with images of the sites. All photographs mine unless otherwise noted. Right click or hover to see info; click to enlarge. – Catherine Ryan

The guide – Massachusetts Museum Guide, Fall 2019

Note from author: The list below is alphabetized by town, and details upcoming exhibitions at each venue as well as some that are closing soon. Click the word “website” (color gray on most monitors) for hyperlinks that redirect to venues. For a list alphabetically sorted by venue, see my Google Map (with a Candy Trail overlay) “Art Museums in Massachusetts” here and embedded at the end of this post. I pulled the map together several years ago. No apps to download or website jumping. Easy scroll down so you don’t miss an exhibit that’s closer than you think to one that you may already be exploring. A few are open seasonally (summer) or weekends only–call first to check before visiting. Major new architectural building projects are underway at BU (closed) and MIT. The 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common will undergo restoration. Get ready for close observation of conservation in process.  – Catherine

AMESBURY

1. John Greenleaf Whittier historic Home and Museum website 

AMHERST 

2. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art website

  • September 7, 2019- March 1, 2020 Under the Sea with Eric Carle
  • Through October 27, 2019 The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sis video of exhibition
  • November 10, 2019 – April 5, 2020 The Pursuit of Everything: Maria Kalman’s Books for Children
  • Through December 1, 2019 William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary

3. Emily Dickinson Museum website ongoing special guided tours through two historic house museums- Homestead and Evergreens, and programs

4. Eli Marsh Gallery – Amherst College website

  • September 16-October 11, 2019 Do Things to Images: An Exhibition by Odette England

5. Mead Art Museum –  Amherst College website

  • Opening September 12, 2019 Rotherwas Project 5 | Christopher Myers: The Red Plague Rid You for Learning Me Your Language
  • Through September 11, 2019 Fleeting Nature: Selections from Collection
  • Fall 2019 Ten Years of Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisitions
  • Opening December 2019 Students’ museum seminar exhibition
  • Through January 5, 2020 Constructing Collage

ANDOVER

6. Addison Gallery of American Art Philips Andover website

  • September 1, 2018- July 31, 2020 A Wildness Distant from Ourselves: Art and Ecology in 19th-Century America press release
  • September 1, 2018 – December 15, 2019 The Art of Ambition in the Colonial Northeast press release
  • September 1 – November 15, 2019 George Washington: American Icon press release
  • October 5, 2019 – January 5 2020 Men of Steel, Women of Wonder press release
  • February 1 – April 26, 2020 Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950 press release

ARLINGTON

7. Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) Art Museum website

ATTELBORO

8. Attleboro Arts Museum (like NSAA) website

BELMONT

9. The Belmont Woman’s Club & 1853 Winslow Homer (seasonal) website historic house museum

BEVERLY

10. Montserrat College of Art website

  • Through September 13, 2019 Montserrat Gallery | Julian Howley: Building Better Mobs
  • Through September 21, 2019 Ashley Brown Durand: It’s Ok to Feel Things
  • Through October 12, 2019 301 Gallery | Adrian Fernandez Milanes

11. Murals, Cabot Street Beverly

 

12. Beverly Public Library website

 

13. Long Hill historic home and gardens 114 acres website 

BOSTON

14. Boston Athenaeum website

  • September 17, 2019 – March 14, 2020 Required Reading: Reimagining a Colonial Library on display in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery press release

15. Boston Black Heritage Trail, NPS website

photo info: Visitors will see the Robert Gould Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial undergoing conservation beginning fall 2019

16. Boston Children’s Museum website

Boston Children's Museum_20190828_Hood icon © c ryan

  • Through September 30th HUMAN GARDEN | Handmade Installation by Lani Asuncion on display in The Gallery
  • Through Fall 2019 Pickup Music Project www.pickupmusicproject.com
  • iconic permanent public art/architecture, i.e. Hood Milk Carton; mini temporary displays and/or art commissions integrated every floor

17. Boston Freedom Trail website

18. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park website

(photos show info gateway on the Greenway near the ferry access to Boston Harbor Islands)

  • Summer 2019 public art: Boston Harbor [Re]creation The Project: Artists Marsha Parrilla; Robin MacDonald-Foley; Brian Sonia-Wallace more(Jury: Luis Cotto MCC; Lucas Cowan, The Greenway; Celena illuzzi, National Parks; Caroly Lewenberg; Denise Sarno-Bucca DCR; Courtney Shape, City of Boston; Rebecca Smerling Boston Harbor Now; Kera Washingon; Cynthia Woo, Pao Arts Center)

19. Boston Public Library website

  • Through November 10, 2019 America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century, special exhibitions, more

20. Boston Society of Architects website

  • Through October 25, 2019 Canstruction 2019
  • Through December 31, 2019 2019 BSA Design Awards 
  • December 6 – January 2, 2019 8th Annual Gingerbread House Design Competition
  • January 10, 2020- May 15, 2020 The Architecture of Time
  • February 14 – April 5, 2020 Women in Design Award of Excellence 20th Anniversary celebratin and exhibition
  • February 21 – May 31, 2020 Durable: Sustainable Material Ecologies Vilna Shul website

21. Boston University BU Art Galleries website

  • Reopening Fall 2020 – 808 Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Reopening Fall 2020 – Faye G., Jo & James Stone Gallery (temporary closures)
  • Annex

22. Design Museum, Boston website

23. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway website 

Super A_ Stefan Thelen_Resonance_2019_Greenway mural Boston Massachusetts© photograph c ryan.jpg

  • Unveiled 2019 – Super A (Stefan Thelen) Resonance, 2019, latex and spray paint
    • Note to Greenway (see photo notes below): food trucks by the stop should be relocated to other food truck areas (and maybe one tree) to optimize and welcome sight line to the Greenway and public spaces from streets, sidewalk, and South Station. There are pauses elsewhere along the lattice park links, and a generous approach past the wine bar. The temporary commissioned mural could extend verso (or invite a second artist) so that the approach from Zakim Bridge/RT1/93North is as exciting as the approach from Cape Cod.
  • Skip the app AI download– swamped my phone battery despite free WiFi on the Greenway.
  • See complete list of 2019 public art currently on view at The Greenway here
  • The Greenway packs a lot of punch in a compressed area; its lattice of dynamic public spaces and quiet passages are an easy stroll into the North End or along the HarborWalk to the ICA, roughly similar in size and feel as walking Battery Park and Hudson River Park in New York City.
college students from Boston University volunteer grounds keeping before the semester kicks off_ at The Greenway_Boston Mass_20190828_©c ryan.jpg
photo credit: Grounds help | College students from Boston University volunteering before the semester kicks off at The Greenway, Boston MA © c ryan _20190828_
ICA needs to be on these wayfinding guides.jpg
p.s. Need to add ICA to The Greenway wayfinding 

24. Innovation and Design building (aka Boston Design Building makeover in process in winter 2016 photos posted here) website

25. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website

  • Through September 15, 2019 BIG PLANS: Picturing Social Reform more
  • Through October 20, 2019 Contemporary Art  Joan Jonas: i know why they left more
  • Through January 14, 2020 Anne H. Fitzpatrick Facade Laura Owens: Untitled 
  • October 17, 2019 – January 20, 2020 In the Company of Artists featuring Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse

26. Guild of Boston Artists website

  • Through September 28, 2019 Annual Regional Juried Exhibition 2019 Winners announced September 21, 2019. The 2018 gold winner, Leon Doucette of Gloucester, exhibiting again, and Melissa Cooper. more

27. ICA Institute of Contemporary Art website

ICA BOSTON_silvery day_©c ryan.jpg

  • On display at The Water Shed ICA Boston venue

installation view at ICA The Water Shed_JOHN AKOMFRAH PURPLE_2019_© photograph catherine ryan (7)

  • Through September 2, 2019 at The Water Shed, ICA Boston John Akomfrah: Purple more 
  • What’s coming in 2020 to The Water Shed? Still TBA
  • Through September 22, 2019 ICA Less Is a Bore: Maximilist Art & Design more

Nice installation with a few surprises and thoughtful connection to other exhibtions on view. (The LeWit and Johns selections triggered what about that work or artist? I wish May Stevens and Harmony Hammond were included and my list grew from there. That’s part of the fun of the exhibit.)

ICA installation view_Less is More 2019 © photo copyright Catherine Ryan

  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling more
  • September 24 – February 7, 2021 ICA Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama more
  • October 23, 2019 – January 26, 2020 ICA When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art more
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA 2019 James and Audrey Foster Prize Boston area artists: Rashin Fahandej; Josephine Halvorson; Lavaughan Jenkins; Helga Roht Poznanski more 
  • Through December 31, 2019 ICA Vivian Suter more 
  • January 17, 2020 – March 15, 2020 ICA Fineberg Art Wall | Nina Chanel Abney mural more

ICA Boston installation view_Fineberg Art Wall_ artist Nina Chanel Abney _ 2019 © photograph copyright Catherine Ryan.jpg

  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Tschabalala Self: Around the Way more
  • January 20, 2020 – July 5, 2020 ICA Carolina Caycedo more
  • February 26 – May 17, 2020 ICA Sterling Ruby more
  • July 1, 2020 – October 18, 2020 ICA Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech more

28. John F. Kennedy JFK Presidential Library & Museum, UMASS Boston website

  • Through November 28, 2019 JFK 100: Milestones & Mementos  more
  • Through December 31, 2019 Freedom 7 Space Capsule more

29. Massachusetts State House art collection website  and Boston Commons public arts and spaces

30. McMullen Museum of Art BC – Boston College website

  • September 9, 2019 William Trost Richards: Hieroglyphs of Landscape more
  • September 9, 2019 Simon Dinnerstein: “The Fulbright Triptych” more
  • September 9, 2019 Alen MacWeeney and a Century of New York Street Photography more 
  • September 9, 2019 Mary Armstrong: Conditions of Faith more

31. MAAH – Museum of African American History, Boston website

32. MFA – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website 

Museum of Fine Arts Boston_20170113_Manship sculptures © c ryan.jpg

  • September 13, 2019 – May 3, 2021 Women Take the Floor (The fugitive textiles and printmaking sections will rotate out Part 1 May 2020) at the MFA more 
  • October 12, 2019 – August 9, 2020 Weng Family Collection of Chinese Painting: Family and Friends at the MFA more
  • October 13, 2019 – January 20, 2020 Ancient Nubia Now at the MFA more 

installation at MFA underway _20190820_readying for Ancient Nubia ©c ryan.jpg

  • Through October 14, 2019 Community Arts Mindful Mandlas at the MFA
  • Through December 15, 2019 Viewpoints: Photographs from art dealer Howard Greenberg Collection at the MFA more 

big league photo art dealer Howard Greenberg stellar vintage photography collection.jpg

  • Through January 20, 2020 Make Believe: Five Contemporary photographers at the MFA more
  • Through January 20, 2020 Kay Nielsen’s Enchanted Vision at the MFA more
  • Through February 20, 2020 Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death at the MFA more
  • Through February 23, 2020  Jackson Pollock |  Katharina Grosse Abstraction on a Massive Scale at the MFA more

POLLOCK at MFA orginially commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim.jpg

  • March 1, 2020  – May 25, 2010 Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits at the MFA more 
  • Through March 8, 2020 Collecting Stories: Mid Century Experiment at the MFA
  • Through March 29, 2020 Boston Made Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork at the MFA more
  • Through June 30, 2020 Conservation in Action: Japanes Buddhist Sculpure at the MFA

33. Otis House Museum, Historic New England website historic house museum

34. Paul Revere House website

35. Society of Arts & Crafts, at Pier 4 Boston website 

  • Sepember 10 2019 – November 10, 2019 Kogei-Kyoto x SA+C, Boston more
  • save the date: Society visits Gloucester, Mass

36. USS Constitution, NPS website

BREWSTER 

37. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History website

  • Long term display in the Naturescape Gallery James Prosek and Barbara Harmon (see also Thornton Burgess in East Sandwich) 

BROCKTON

38. Fuller Craft Museum heads into 51st season website

  • Opens September 7, 2019 Striking Gold: Fuller at Fifty press release 
  • Opens September 7, 2019 Gleam: Golden Selections from the Permanent Collection press release
  • Through September 8, 2019 Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists
  • Opens September 28, 2019 Human Impact: Stories of the Opiod Epidemic
  • Through October 6, 2019 Brockton Youth Creates
  • Opens October 19, 2019 Stitch by Stitch: Activist Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy
  • Through October 27, 2019 Take It Outside: Works from the Boston Sculptors Gallery
  • Through October 27, 2019 Maine Crafts Association: Ten Years of Master Craft Artistshttps://larzanderson.org/exhibits/goldenage/
  • Through November 17, 2019 Elizabeth Potenza: “Look up,” she said, “there is more color than you ever imagined.
  • Opens January 25, 2020 Stephanie Cole: Secular Cathedral
  • Opens May 2, 2020 Another Crossing: Artists Revisit the Mayflower Voyage
  • Through May 3, 2020 Tending the Fires: Recent Acquisitions in Clay

BROOKLINE

39. Larz Anderson Auto Museum website

  • Through mid April 2020 Golden Age – Era of Distinction, Style and Grace 1915-1948 more
  • Permanent display – The Anderson Collection 

CANTON

40. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate  website

41. Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon website

  • Through September 15, 2019 Under Pressure– Birds in the Printed Landscape: Linocuts by Sherrie York more
  • Through September 29, 2019 The Shorebird Decoys of Gardner & Dexter more

CAMBRIDGE

Harvard – 

42.  Harvard Art Museums (Fogg; Busch-Reisinger; and Arthur M. Sackler) website

Why do any of the Harvard museums charge an entrance fee?

  • Through January 5, 2020 Winslow Homer: Eyewitness (in conjunction with Cape Ann Museum Homer exhibition) University Research Gallery
  • Through January 5, 2020 Early Christian Africa: Arts of Transformation
  • Through January 5, 2020 Critical Printing
  • Through January 5, 2020 Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art
  • Through November 14, 2021 On Site Clay — Modeling African Design

43. Harvard – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts website

  • Through September 29, 2019 Anna Oppermann: Drawings

Harvard Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts closed for event_20190705_©c ryan.jpg

The Carpenter Center was closed for an event on the day I scheduled to see the Oppermann exhibition – good reminder to call first for the must see shows on your list.

  •  Jonathan Berger: An Introduction to Nameless Love
  • Harvard Film Archive weekly film series

44. Harvard – ‘The Cooper Gallery’ / The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art website

The Cooper Gallery Harvard University_20190705_Boston MA_ ©c ryan.jpg

  • September 16 – December 13, 2019 The Sound of My Soul: Frank Stewart’s Life in Jazz photography, curated by Ruth Fine
  • the Gordon Park exhibition that recently closed was on my list of top shows for 2019

45. Harvard – Gutman Gallery website

  • Through August 30, 2019 Sneha Shrestha (aka Imagine), Ed.M.’17

46. Harvard –  Graduate School of Design Gund Hall Exhibition website

47. Harvard – Ernst Mayr Library website

48. Harvard – Houghton Library website

49. Harvard – Lamont Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Through March 29, 2020 Harvard College International Photo Contest Winners

50. Harvard –  Museum of Natural History website

  • September 25, 2019 – December 31, 2019 Rotten Apples: Botanical Models of Diversity and Disease at Harvard Museum of Natural History more
  • Ongoing, Glass Flowers Gallery

51. Harvard – Peabody Museum of Archaeology website

  • Through December 31, 2019 Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology more

52. Harvard- Pusey Library Exhibition Gallery website

  • Through October 31, 2019 Mapping the Moon in Black and White Harvard Map Collection
  • Through January 22, 2020 The Rittase Touch: Photographic Views of Harvard in the 1930s

53. Harvard – Widener Library (Harvard ID required) website

  • Though September 30, 2019 Colonial North America: Portals to the Past

54. Central Square Murals, Cambridge website

MIT –

55. MIT Museum website  **OCTOBER 2021 MIT Museum moving to KENDALL SQUARE**

  • Through September 1, 2019 Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus  more
  • Opens October 11, 2019 The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology more 
  • Opens November 7, 2019 Making Digital Tangible more
  • Through May 1, 2021 Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy design and engineering and the Hereshoff Manufacturing Co. more
  • Ongoing Harold Edgerton exhibit; Holography collection; and Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson

56. MIT List Visual Arts Center website MIT Media Lab more

  • Through September 15, 2019 Student Lending Art program more
  • Through October 20, 2019 List Projects: Farah Al Qasimi more
  • October 18, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Alicja Kwade: In Between Glances more
  • December 12, 2019 – February 9, 2020 List Projects: Becca Albee more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Christine Sun Kim: Off the Charts more
  • February 7, 2020 – April 12, 2020 Colored People Time: Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, Banal Presents more
  • March 17, 2020 – May 17, 2020 List Projects: Rami George more

57. MIT Hart Nautical Gallery website

58. MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery student projects website

59. MIT School of Architecture Galleries website

  • September 1 Gallery 9 SA+P Thesis show website
  • School of Architecture Dean’s Gallery website
  • School of Architecture Keller Gallery website
  • Rotch Library Exhibition space website
  • Through September 30 GRAND CANYON: Geology, Exploration Tourism and Architecture more 
  • Through October 4, 2019 A theater without theater on display Maihaugen Gallery and Rotch Library more
  • Opens December 9, 2019 ACT Fall Studio Final exhibit
  • PLAZmA Digital Gallery website

60. MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery website Stratton Student Center

  • Through September 15, 2019 Surrounded by Digitized Faces and Bodies 

61. Mount Auburn Cemetery website 

62. Museum of Science, Boston website

Museum of Science_20170530_George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture ©c ryan.jpg

  • Temporary art and photography exhibitions top floor moments of excellence
  • Ongoing George Rhodes 1987 commission, Archimedean Excogitation, mesmerizing audiokinetic sculpture (Relocated to lobby 2015- I prefered lower level.)
  • Ongoing Katherine Lane Weems (1899-1989) animal sculptures. MoS is the largest repository of her work.
  • Historic Eames installation dismantled 😦

CLINTON

63. Museum of Russian Icons website

  • Through October 20, 2019 Wrestling With Angels Icons from the Prosopon School of Iconology and Iconography more
  • November 15, 2019 – March 8, 2020 Emil Hoppe: Photographs from the Ballet Russes more

CONCORD

64. Louisa May Alcott Orchard House 399 Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, United States (978) 369-4118 guided tours year round plus special events

65. Ralph Waldo Emerson House (seasonal) website

66. Walden Pond State Reservation – Henry David Thoreau website

67. Concord Museum website

  • Opening October 19, 2019 Concord Collects 
  • February 14, 2020 Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere press release

COTUIT

68. Cahoon Museum of American Art website

  • September 6 – October 30, 2019 Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography
  • October 6 – October 30, 2019 Cahoon Contemporaries: Jodi Colella, Jackie Reeves, Kimberly Sheering
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Soo Sunny Park: Boundary Conditions installation
  • November 8 – December 22, 2019 Gretchen Romey Tanzer Weaver
  • Rotating – Highlights from the collection; New Acquisitions; Cahoon studio tours; and historical installation designed by Mary Ann Agresti  

DALTON

69. Crane Museum of Papermaking website Founded in 1930. Mill venue dates to 1844, built after papermaker Zenas Crane’s retirement

DENNIS 

70. Cape Cod Museum of Art – 39th year website

  • Through October 6, 2019 Milton Teichman sculpture
  • Through October 20, 2019 Ship of State…Paintings by Robert Henry
  • Through December 21, 2019 Interpreting Their World: Varujan Boghosian, Carmen Cicero, Elspeth Halvorsen and Pual Resika

DUXBURY 

71. The Art Complex Museum (Weyerhaeuser collection) website

  • August 18 – November 10, 2019 Steve Novick: Approximation 
  • September 15 -January 12, 2020 Draw the Line
  • September 15 – January 12, 2020 Rotations: Highlights From the Permanent Collection Nocturne including Lowell Birge Harrison (American, 1854–1929), Suzanne Hodes (American, b. 1939), Kawase Hasui (Japanese, 1883–1957), George Inness (American, 1825–1894), Johan Barthold Jongkind (Dutch, 1819–1891) Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962), and Henri Eugene Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939)
  • November 17 – February 16, 2020 George Herman Found Paintings

EAST SANDWICH

72. Thornton W. Burgess Society Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen website *may join Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster to combine and become the Cape Cod Museums of Natural History

ESSEX

73. Essex Shipbuilding Museum website

  • September 8th and 15th, 2019 Clam Basket Making Workshop
  • September 12-13th,2019  The Great Rowing Adventure, the first collaborative rowing program with Lowell’s Boat Shop and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum

74. TOHP Burnham Town Hall & Library, Essex website don’t miss Alexia Parker paper collage

TOHP Burnham town hall and library_20190416_©c ryan.jpg

FITCHBURG

75. Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) website

  • Through September 1, 2019 84th Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft
  • Through September 1, 2019 Broad Strokes: American Painting of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries from the FAM collection
  • September 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Sage Sohier/David Hilliard: Our Parents, Ourselves more
  • September 21, 2019 – November 10, 2019 Adria Arch: Reframing Eleanor more
  • September 21, 2019 Daniela Rivera: Labored Landscapes (Where Hand Meets Ground) more 
  • September 21, 2019 – January 12, 2020 David Katz: Earth Wares more
  • Ongoing Evoking Eleanor; Discover Ancient Egypt; Thurston sculpture by Douglas Kornfeld

FRAMINGHAM

76. Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham State Univ.  website

  • September 7 – October 13, 2019 Populux Steven Duede | Sean Sullivan on display in the works on paper gallery
  • September 7 – December 30, 2019 Dressed! Exhibiting artists include Catherine Bertulli, Jodi Colella, Merill Comeau, Mia Cross, Nancy Grace Horton, and Marky Kauffmann
  • September 7 – May 2020 Highlights from the Permanent Collection

GLOUCESTER

Continue reading “Massachusetts Museum Guide: upcoming art exhibits at 150 institutions”

What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (9)
Front entrance John Adams Courthouse, Boston, MA. The Berkshire Museum case is under review by Supreme Court Justice Lowy

How did the Berkshire Museum brouhaha wind up in the highest court under SJO (Single Justice) review by Justice David A Lowy?

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, deemed it necessary to alter an original historic building and sell off its priceless core art collection in order to build a dream and survive. This controvertial move garnered attention and divided opinion.  The Trustees of the Museum explained that they hired a consultancy firm which confirmed this new direction (“New Vision”), via extensive public outreach* no less, so what gives? (*22 focus groups involving over 200 people is hardly extensive.) Opponents cried, “Foul!”, and pointed out questionable and perhaps shady fodder, i.e. would museum members and the Berkshire community have voted YES had they been told that the best works from the permanent collection must be sold off to make it happen? Also, the art was consigned to Sotheby’s June 13, 2017, but the Trustees altered the museum’s Charter after the consignment date and only then informed the “public”.  Timing is everything. There was even an infamous email with a ‘loose lips sink ships’ subject line.  We know these details because of dogged reporting by the The Berkshire Eagle, notably Larry Parnass, and a wide network. The story is urgent and compelling, the art world equivalent of a Spotlight-All the President’s Men-Pentagon Papers type investigation.

The first auctions were slated for November 2017. Shuffleton’s Barbershop by Norman Rockwell was to have been the Berkshire Museum star lot. Its presale estimate alone was 20 to 30 million. By the Fall of 2017, the museum was hit with multiple lawsuits, sued by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Norman Rockwell descendants, and various plaintiffs. Eventually, all were folded into #TeamAGO vs. the Berkshire Museum. On November 8th, the Lower Court ruled in favor of the Museum, clearing the legal right of way to auction. The Attorney General Office appealed to the State’s supreme judicial court to block the sale for more time to evaluate and investigate the case. Attorneys for the Museum fought that request vigorously, but were denied. On November 10, 2017, the AGO procured an injunction from Judge Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, scuttling any scheduled auction prior to December 11, 2017. Allowances for extensions to build the case were granted. On February 5th, the AGO switched teams and filed jointly with its former adversary, the Berkshire Museum, petitioning the court to apply cy pres and maintaining its opinion that indeed all the art is restricted:

“As detailed elsewhere (e.g., in its filings in the litigation referenced above) the AGO believes that all of the works of art deaccessioned and proposed for sale are subject to one or more restrictions that limit the Museum’s ability to proceed with its planned sale and use of proceeds to fund an endowment, pay for operating expenses and fund renovations. The Museum continues to believe no restrictions (beyond the Museum’s charitable purposes) apply.”

This alliance left many scratching their heads  and interested parties formerly #TeamAGO adrift. Although the Rockwell plaintiffs backed off and dropped their case, law firms Sullivan & Worcester and  Foley Hoag with Barker, Epstein & Loscocco solicited amicus status on behalf of their clients.

Sullivan & Worcester Berkshire Museum
Sullivan & Worcester blog post about their position

Immediately, the AGO and the Berkshire Museum filed opposition papers. They weren’t persuasive. The Justice granted the participation of the law firms which means that the SJ-2018-065 docket was vastly enlarged and enlightened on February 27, 2018, and I had to see. And share. (Although everything I was looking for and questioned was not there.) The attorneys disagree with the AGO and Berkshire Museum proposal, and request oral argument. The AGO and Museum responses were filed after I visited. Justice David A Lowy will make that decision. He can act on filed papers related to Docket SJ-2018-065, order a hearing, or pass the case back to the full court. What will he do? I’m crossing fingers that arguments will be heard, and with the full court (which meets the first week each month and is open to the public), especially after I considered the material in person.  The Berkshire Museum could inspire a Frank Capra-esque courtroom movie treatment one day.

In the meantime, the art remains in Sotheby’s possession and the auction house stands down as the case is sorted. The docket includes Sotheby’s contract.

For armchair lawyers and detail detectives: I offer a blizzard of documents, on the eve of the next Nor’Easter blizzard and hope I’ve peaked your interest. (Leaving my analysis aside for now.)  Scroll past this post’s “read more” indicator to see interior architectural photos I took of the stunning John Adams Courthouse, and to read some of the complete and unfiltered new filings and documents related to the Berkshire Museum case, specifically-

  • AMICI CURIAE Sullivan & Worcester LLP law firm on behalf of ‘Berkshire Museum Member Plaintiffs’: James Hatt,  Kristin Hatt,  and Elizabeth Weinberg, filed Feb 26 2018, case SJ-2018-065 (52 pages)
  • AMICUS CURIAE Foley Hoag and Barker, Epstein & Loscocco – attorney Michael B Keating of Foley Hoag with attorney Daniel Epstein of Barker, Epstein & Loscocco on behalf of clients: Tom Patti, who completed two commissioned installations for the Berkshire Museum entrance and reception areas–spaces that will be gutted if the historic building is disfigured for the New Vision; Marilyn Holtz Patti – resides and works in Berkshire County as does Tom Patti; Jean Rosseau and Jonas Dovydenas- residents of Stockbridge and Lenox; James Lamme, resident of Egremont; and Donald MacGillis, resident of Pittsfield, MA. (21 pages)
  • Sotheby’s Contract with the Berkshire Museum (9 pages)
  • Affidavit from Dan Monroe, Director of the Peabody Essex Museum opposed the Berkshire Museum sale (4 pages)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) provided major facility funding since 2000. Some related construction was completed by a board member and warrants scrutiny
  • links to prior GMG Berkshire Museum posts

Interior views John Adams Courthouse 

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The John Adams Courthouse Great Hall is stunning. On the right side in this photos is a Daniel Chester French gilded sculpture of Rufus Choate

 

Continue reading “What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court”

Art at Peabody Essex Museum: Hasten to Hassam! Last day

American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isle of Shoals at the Peabody Essex Museum closes today. It’s one of the best exhibitions I saw this year. Go  — there’s still time today. You will come nearly as close as any observer can to feeling the rapturous meeting of an artist’s take with the shimmering world.

Hassam’s paintings don’t reproduce well in books, or photography. They need to be addressed– sized up, walked towards. Inhaled.

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This approach is beneficial even if you study just one. But my, what luxury seeing so many in one place at one time.  Again and again, the show brought forth connections and insight.”Funny, I hadn’t seen that before,” I found myself thinking. Artists Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud came to mind.

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The exhibition features more than 40 Hassam oil paintings and watercolors of the eastern seaboard dating from the late 1880s to 1912–an Isle of Shoals painting reunion, with secrets revealed. The Peabody Essex Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art co-organized and partnered with marine scientists at Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University, and the University of New Hampshire. Their new research examined all the sites on the island, and Hassam’s painting process. I liked the research, the pacing of the installation, and the thoughtful viewshed. Besides the two museums, loans came from near and mostly far such as: private collections from coast to coast (which I’d never see);  the Portland Museum of Art; Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis; Yale (Sinclair Lewis gifted that one to Yale!); Wichita Art Museum; Toledo Museum of Art; Smith; Smithsonian; and the National Gallery of Art. Basically all painting is abstraction: I relished the chance to study so many in one spot.

I was not a fan of the piped in sound, nor all the wall paint choices as my senses were already acutely challenged by observation. My disdain for the canned ambient sound was so distracting, I had to leave. On my second visit, the scent of coconut wafted out the entrance. My goodness, have they piped in fake scent like a boutique hotel or experiential attraction, too? They hadn’t. It was my overreaction in the wake of another visitor’s adornment, a lingering fragrance, perhaps sunscreen on a summer day.

Tucked away within the Hassam exhibit was a good photo installation of Alexandra de Steiguer’s work as the Isles winter keeper– for 19 years! For anyone who wondered more about life as a keeper after reading The Light Between Oceans, de Steiguer wrote about her real experiences here, http://connected.pem.org/alone-on-an-island/. It’s beautiful!

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More photos of the Hassam installation at the Peabody Essex Museum Continue reading “Art at Peabody Essex Museum: Hasten to Hassam! Last day”

Gloucester and Fiesta at Peabody Essex Museum

As I frequent museums and collections for work,  and Gloucester art abounds, I suffer bouts of ‘Gloucester acquisition affliction’ . Relative newcomers at PEM include a St. Peter Fiesta scene by Gifford Beal and one of Portuguese Hill by Olga Itasca Sears.  As much as I am fond of PEM– and I mean no disrespect to this august institution– I sorely wish the Cape Ann Museum had received the art or funds for acquisition. There are few major historic paintings of Gloucester (and the greater region) which remain in private hands. They include works by Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper. I’m trying.

While at PEM for special exhibits, I often check the permanent installation. Are the Frank Benson works and Norman Rockwell on view?  Check. I make a point to spend time in front of the Philip Reisman 1951 Tuna Shed, another Gloucester painting and one that Wicked Tuna fans may like to scrutinize.  Reisman was a masterful, versatile painter, and a smart gentle man. I was lucky to know and work with him. The Cape Ann Museum has examples of his Gloucester paintings in their collection and a binder of slides, photographs he took, many Fiesta. I remember labeling some.

I paused more than I ever have at the John Trumbull portrait of Alexander Hamilton. (Hmm. Have museums tagged works representing Alexander Hamilton? It would be a mastery of quick edits matched up to the Lin Manuel Miranda song.)

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GIFFORD BEAL (1879-1956), Fiesta of Saint Peter, Gloucester, c.1930                                              Oil on masonite, Gift of the family of Gifford Beal, 2006. Peabody Essex Museum.
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OLGA ITASCA SEARS (1906-1990). Portuguese Hill, Gloucester. ca.1950s. Oil on canvas. The Sheila W. And Samuel M. Robbins Collection. Peabody Essex Museum. (2015 acquisition)
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PHILIP REISMAN, Tuna Shed, 1951, oil on masonite. Gift of Louise K. Reisman. Peabody Essex Museum.

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#Hamilton, @ Lin_Manuel, #PEM                                                                                                     John Turnbull, Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, 1792, oil on canvas, gift of George A Ward, 1918, collection Peabody Essex Museum

I am looking forward to the upcoming Childe Hassam show opening July 16th at PEM. I went to see the Rodin exhibit.

Continue reading “Gloucester and Fiesta at Peabody Essex Museum”

Gloucester in the house at North Carolina Museum

A rare Edward Hopper drawing of East Main Street, Gloucester, is part of a comprehensive exhibit, “Marks of Genius”, masterpieces from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) through June 19th. These wonders of process traveled to the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan before Raleigh. The next stop will be the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Hopper is featured at every venue, and so is Gloucester. 

If it were your museum, where would you hang the Hopper?  The NCMA installed the drawings in their largest special exhibition space by subject rather than chronologically, the design choice of other venues. How do I know? Exhibitions Assistant, Margaret Gaines, was kind enough to share details and photographs of the museum and its beautiful Meymandi Exhibition Gallery in the East Building so that we could all armchair art gawk. (I smiled when I read that East Main Street is in the East building of this East coast museum.) “Gloucester” is written on the museum label along with my research and color photograph.

“American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isle of Shoals” is up at the same time.  Childe Hassam has Gloucester and Massachusetts ties, but I didn’t ask to see pictures of that exhibit. Though “Marks of Genius”  won’t be coming any closer to Massachusetts than North Carolina, the Hassam show is coming to the Peabody Essex Museum on July 16th. The North Carolina Museum of Art partnered with PEM. I wouldn’t miss it.

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Here’s another photograph pulled back to compare the house with the Hopper sketch and choices.

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Exh entrances

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Toy With the Idea of Non-Toy Gifts

I was that parent who insisted that my boys were going to have all wooden, all natural, and “real life” toys.  I stuck to that rule for quite some time and, I’m not going to lie, I’m still happy that my boys have, on their own, become interested in things like animals, boats, police/fire/coastguard/etc., vehicles, fishing tackle, and sports cards…rather than Power Rangers, Pokemon, and whatnot.  I guess what I love the most about their interests is that they are “real” and they’re not going anywhere.  You can never learn too much about wild animals, real life heros, sports, science, and such.  But, it isn’t just that, I’m also cheap and I’m happy that they haven’t gotten into the it items that are going to be replaced by new it items in 6 months.

So, they’ve been playing with many of the exact same toys for probably YEARS. They, at 5.5 and 7.5, still can not get enough of their collection of Hess trucks, fishing boats, rescue vehicles, match box cars, and Schleich animals. They also have 100s of small whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, etc that they spread out and play with for hours.  On the other hand, they also have iPod minis, for when they need some down time…or I need a break!

I say all of this (in my incredibly long-winded own way) because all of that means that I had NO idea what to get them for Christmas this year.  They truly don’t need a thing.  They still use and love so many of their toys…why replace them with stuff just for the sake of having more stuff?  Likewise, we have a tiny little home.  I truly can’t bear the thought of buying crap that they are not going to use.  That having been said, clearly we want to get them things…and not super lame things….for Christmas.

They did ask for a few things…so that helped.  They both wanted a couple of pairs of new sneakers.  Shot, score!  Cause, you know, I was going to have to buy those soon anyway.  They wanted “rollie” hockey bags. Ummm….ok…awesome!  The less I need to lug their gear around the better. It totally rocks that I was also able to get the Grit Pod hockey bags that actually have a compartment for each item of their gear!  TOTALLY addresses my OCD issues.  I couldn’t be happier.  They wanted new backpacks.  That one kind of hurt, because they both have ones that I love…and that don’t really need  to be replaced….but, since they were cheap and easy…I got them.  And, they always get the new Hess truck.  So, not bad.  We were making progress.

They’ve been dying to take guitar lessons, but with hockey, school, etc. that hasn’t really been in the budget. Thank goodness for grandparents, because thanks to Nammy they will have guitars and an amp and thanks to Grampy they’ll have their first three months of lessons. Tremendous.

So, now what?

From here it is all about the Experience Gifts!  Here’s a little secret.  Shhhh.  If, like us, you find yourself to be on a budget, Experience Gifts can be great because you don’t really have to pay for them before Christmas.  For example, last year I put together a little gift basket with some Providence Bruins stuff, a photo of a hotel in Providence, a brochure for the Providence Dave and Busters, and a brochure for the Roger Williams Zoo.  A quick little one night getaway stuffed to the gills with activities that they were going to love to help kill the post holiday/winter doldrums….that didn’t have to be actually paid for until a few weeks after the holidays when we actually booked the hotel and got “baby Bruins” tix online…for super, super cheap I might add.

Another great quick getaway that is on my favorite list is The Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg…again, give them a getaway for Christmas by putting together a cute basket (think Wolf ears or nose from a party shop, swim goggles, one of their own bathing suits and/or flip flops, maybe a cheap new towel, a brochure) and then book it in January or February for a mid winter retreat.  Does that sound cheap? What evs….it works.

Experience Gifts don’t have to be in the form of overnight trips though!!

Here are some other ideas:

A membership to Maritime Gloucester.  Get a cheap sand pail (or find one of the 1,000 you already own), throw in a ocean dwelling stuffed animal (or go buy one from their awesome gift shop), maybe a small fishing net, grab a brochure, and you’re good to go.

A season pass for the Water Taxi.  Buy a little toy boat (can you say Toodeloos) and tie on the pass with a cute little bow.  Maybe even find a sailor or captains hat to go with it!

Gift cards to Friendly’s, Orange Leaf, Cape Ann Lanes, Island Art and Hobby, Gloucester Cinema, the Rainforest Cafe, or Art Haven (which also means GLAZED!). Of course, there’s also things like the Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s Museum, the PEM, the Elizabeth Stewart Gardner Museum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Sky Zone, The Legoland Discovery Center. You name it!!  Don’t forget their favorite store.  Seems like a no brainer, but my boys love nothing more than a gift card to Fisherman’s Outfitters or Fin and Feather in Essex!  I buy them a couple of new fishing lures and tie them onto the envelope from one of those stores and they’re the happiest of campers.

Two things:  First of all, ALL of these kind-of-lame-to-open gift cards can be made super fun with simple extras.  A little bowling pin (I’ve seen them but probably couldn’t find one when I actually need one so you’re on your own there) or a roll of quarters for the video games to go with the bowling gift card. Some microwave popcorn and some candy put into a cute box (Michael’s Crafts in Danvers sells really cute boxes…sometimes even ones that look like popcorn boxes…see below) to go along with the movie gift card.  An actual container from Orange Leaf (which they give out with their gift cards) filled with some gummy bears, cookies, or other toppings.  A paint brush, crayons, cheap set of markers to go along with the Art Haven gift card. A magnifying glass for the MOS, some small plastic animals/insects to go with the Museum of Natural History. An art book to accompany the art museum visit.  A pair of gym shorts or a new water bottle for the trip to Sky Zone. A small Lego kit to go with the trip to Legoland in Somerville. Whale Watch tickets work well with a brochure or post card of a whale, a stuffed animal, or maybe even a t-shirt from one of the local whale watching companies. You get the point!  Secondly, if a place doesn’t necessarily make/give real gift cards….just make your own and then pay cash when you go for real.  I’ve done that plenty of times.

One of my favorite gifts is a “A Day Your Way” ticket.  Each of my boys get one and then they get to redeem it for a day that is planned totally by them (with in reason and budget!).  They only get one or two a year so if they choose candy for breakfast and breakfast for dinner I don’t really care!  They also get to choose one activity: movie, mini golf, museum, hike, etc. and we follow their lead all day long.

Aside from day trips, are also simple staycation ideas. Super easy, no brainers. Hot cocoa, ice cream sundae toppings, popcorn, and a movie in a fun basket for a family movie night!  Some snacks, a pizza coupon, and a new board game for family game night!  A new book and some snacks for a guaranteed long session of read aloud time together.  A basket of crafting supplies for a day or arts and crafts.  Some binoculars, a compass, a map, a nature map or field guide, maybe a disposable camera…and you’re off for a fun hike together!  You get the idea.

For those of you who are super eager beavers, plan a scavenger hunt!  Some small gifts and clues that will lead your child all around town with some fun stops along the way!  Again, my boys love to search for different boats, see which boats are in and which are out, hit a playground, go for a hike, grab a hot cocoa, search for more clues….  Super fun day!

And, finally….   here are some other Non Toy ideas that I love.

1.  A magazine subscription.  We love National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Little Kids, Boys’ Life, and Time for Kids.  The novelty of getting their new magazine in the mail has never worn off and we make certain to make special time to read it together within 48 hours of its arrival.

2.  To up the ante, a book club.  I’ve used Gift Lit before.  Think wine of the month club, but in a book form for young (or any aged) reader!

3.  Equally, if not more, awesome is Kiwi Crate!! I really hope at least someone has hung on and read this far because this is one of my favorite ideas ever!  Same idea as the monthly book club, but you sign up and then all that you need to complete a fun craft together is shipped right to your house! Total excitement the day it comes in the mail!

 

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leopard-skin pill-box hat

I have been dying to go to the Hats: An Anthology exhibit at the PEM and am looking forward to a visit this afternoon. If you haven’t been, go–several friends have given it rave reviews and the exhibit closes this coming Sunday, February 4th.

leopard-skin pill-box hat ©Kim Smith Designs photo 2013-1

As of yet, I don’t have any photos to share from the exhibit so I dug out my very own leopard-skin pill-box hat. This is actually the first hat I ever designed and its inspiration came from the Bob Dylan song “lepoard-skin pill-box hat.”

I kept a number of samples during my days designing clothes and hats for several reasons. My friends who were film and video stylists would often borrow the samples for music videos and films. Also too, because I was dreaming of someday having a daughter. I thought that if I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a daughter that she would surely want to play dress-up. My hope came true for a daughter (and son too!)–and she sure did, and still does, love to play dress-up! The above leopard-skin pill-box has been in one film, two music videos, one musical, and now on GMG!

leopard-skin pill-box hat Dylan

Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Yes, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Well, you must tell me, baby
How your head feels under somethin’ like that
Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat.

See more lyrics. Continue reading “leopard-skin pill-box hat”

Check Out Sarah Slifer and Her Ensemble Prance Around At The PEM June 30th

SPECIAL EVENTS

NEW! Summer Evening Parties

UNCONVENTIONAL GATHERINGS FOR CREATIVE MINDS

Pay at the door. Members and Salem residents, $8, nonmembers $10

Thursday, June 30, 2011 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Location: Asian Garden

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Soundscapes

Join us in the Asian Garden for performances by local sound artists James Forrest, Noel Snow, Scott Buchanan and Shawn Morrissey. Make your own sound art, listen to the latest DIY tracks from the RPM Challenge, hear what’s new from Dorkbot Boston and enjoy cocktails and a chef demo. Also, modern dancer Sarah Slifer and her ensemble respond to FreePort [No. 003], a haunting sound installation at PEM by Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz.

Peabody Essex Museum – Check out Eye Spy, Playing with Perception Exhibit

I didn’t get a web business feature for this week, but recently got to Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and wanted to share some pics. If you have never made the trip down to Salem to check out PEM, you need to get one scheduled. It has something for everyone, including young kids. We go right to the Art & Nature center, where the kids are safe to experience much of the exhibit. The rest of the Museum is stunning and a truly visceral experience. After checking out this museum, grab a bite at one of the many restaurants within walking distance.

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Thanks – Patrick