Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Painting Summer in New England

Having previously looked at the exhibit catalog of Painting Summer in New England, I expected to waste my $17 on a third rate exhibit. It is a short inexpensive commute to Salem from Boston and there are many attractions that appeal to me. For a city of 40,000, they have made the most of their history and assets to make it a good destination for day trippers. The expanded Peabody Essex Museum is the centerpiece of the cultural offerings. Moshe Safdie did such a good job of designing the additions with lots of natural light, nice views, and interesting angles. On my previous visits I had remained on the first floor.

The special exhibit is on the third floor and occupies six rooms. Natural light flows in from the roof and there is plenty of artificial illumination as well. In the exhibit there were nice plush sofas and large Adirondak chairs. Unlike the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston's blockbuster exhibits, I only noticed one painting from the PEM's own collection in their special exhibit. Most paintings were bright and realistic. There were no completely abstract or conceptual paintings. The exhibit was entirely comprised of oils with no drawings or sculpture. Most of the art was from the twentieth century and very tasteful. It was not a daring exhibit, but it was very aesthetically pleasing.


At February 25, 2008, Blogger histfan said...

In February 2008 I revisited the Peabody Essex Museum. Saw Samuel McIntire: Carving an American Style, on its last day on view. It was not nearly as exciting as Painting Summer in New England.

Also toured two smaller temporary exhbibitions that are on display until early 2009. Body Politics, Maori Art Today features traditional and contemporary tattooes and was extremely well curated.

Stage Idols, Japanese Kabuki Theater, is too small to be effective, but the permanent collection of Japanese art on the second floor is very fun. Included in the permanent collection are very tall clogs of a courtesean, several netsuke, a boddhistava, etc.


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