Peabody Essex Museum Unveils 2014 Exhibit Schedule

Here's what you can expect from the Peabody Essex Museum in 2014.

Deminer near Cuvelai, Angola, 2009; gelatin silver print, courtesy Michael Stevenson Gallery © Jo Ractliffe all rights reserved.
Deminer near Cuvelai, Angola, 2009; gelatin silver print, courtesy Michael Stevenson Gallery © Jo Ractliffe all rights reserved.

The Peabody Essex Museum announced its 2014 Exhibit Schedule Thursday afternoon, the following information was included in the press release.

FreePort [No. 007] - Jan. 18 to April 14:

  • Céleste Boursier-Mougenot produces music in surprising and unexpected ways through large-scale acoustic environments. Boursier-Mougenot's immersive sonic installation, from here to ear, introduces a flock of 70 brightly plumed Zebra Finches to a gallery-turned-aviary to live among iconic Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. At turns ambient and melodic, a constantly changing soundscape emerges as the finches explore their environment, eating, nesting and perching on the amplified instruments. This boundary-breaking exhibition asks us to consider the way we perceive, create and interact with music while challenging traditional notions of artistic collaboration.

California Design - March 29 to July 6:

  • Over 200 examples of mid-century modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965.  Featuring a diverse array of furniture, textiles, fashion, industrial and graphic design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, film and architecture, this exhibition celebrates the innovation and pervasiveness of mid-century modern design. The work of legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Greta Magnusson Grossman are explored, as is the sociological and geographical context which gave rise to this unprecedented design movement. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design.

Turner and the Sea - May 31 to Sept. 1:

  • In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s lifelong preoccupation with the sea, this exhibition features iconic works spanning the artist’s career from his transformative Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s, to the unfinished, experimental seascapes produced towards the end of his life. At turns dramatic, contemplative, beautiful and sublime, the sea’s mercurial properties captivated Turner and his contemporaries who repeatedly returned to the subject. Iconic Turner masterpieces are exhibited alongside works by other major European and American artists, providing a rich artistic context for Turner’s groundbreaking maritime vision.  This exhibition is organized by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K.
Calder and Abstraction: From Avante-Garde to Iconic Exhibition - Sept. 6 to Jan. 4:

  • Alexander Calder’s abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th-century. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibition brings together nearly 55 of the artist’s mobiles(kinetic metal works propelled by air) and stabiles (dynamic monumental sculptures) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary of the French Surrealists into the American vernacular. This exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

FreePort [No. 008]: Candic Breitz - Oct. 11 to Feb. 8

  • Internationally renowned video artist Candice Breitz explores how we create, define and perform identities in a world of mass media saturation. In her newest work, a trilogy called The Woods, Breitz delves into the cinematic culture of three epicenters of global filmmaking -- Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood -- to reflect the experiences of child actors and actors who perform childhood. With each section, shot in Los Angeles (The Audition), Mumbai (The Rehearsal) and Lagos (The Interview), The Woodscleverly splices together actor interviews to examine the movie industry's nuanced culture of aspiration and emulation.

Jo Ractliffe, Borderlands - Fall 2014 to Spring 2015:

  • Pre-eminent South African photographer Jo Ractliffe (b. 1961) is drawn to borderlands, frontiers and communities living on the fringe. Selected from Ractliffe’s “Border Trilogy,” this exhibition features nearly 30 black-and-white photographs taken in the most remote reaches of Angola and South Africa. The artist underwent extensive survival skills training, including landmine detection classes, before traveling to settlements so off grid as to not be found on a map. Ractliffe’s resulting images – of barren landscapes, abandoned military posts and asbestos factories – simultaneously document and find stark beauty in these war torn, dispossessed and forget regions.
Hidden in Plain Sight: Revealing the Masterworks of Nathaniel Gould - Nov. 8 to Feb. 16: 

  • Once an obscure figure in American furniture history, Nathaniel Gould is now recognized as Salem’s premier 18th-century cabinetmaker due to the recent discovery of his detailed account ledgers and day books. New scholarship has led the identification and re-attribution of many pieces of furniture, including monumental desks and bookcases, bombé chests and pie-crust tea tables carved from the finest imported mahogany. Gould’s work is distinguished by its careful attention to graining, distinctive carved ball-and-claw feet, extended knee returns, and superbly carved pinwheels and scallop seashells. Hidden in Plain Sight presents 20 exemplary works of Gould furniture alongside paintings, archival materials, decorative arts and digital media elements which provide insight into the makers and consumers of 18th-century American design and culture.
For more information visit the Peabody Essex Museum website


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