We are so lucky to have the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester , MA . The North Shore is also fortunate to have the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem . There are several memorable exhibits overlapping right now at PEM; I would recommend going for longer immersion without kids, but they’re all kid friendly. In order to share more shows with my children, we decided the best approach was to divvy up separate exhibits with mini visits to the kids’ Discovery Center . The Discovery Center ’s current home is temporarily pushed back further into the museum as they re-design its formal space. It’s sort of a “best of” right now, cycling through favorites from past installations. A wall sign encourages sending in any ideas we may have. We can’t wait to see what they do. One benefit from the move was my sons’ discovery of glass art on exhibit just beyond the delineation of where they usually turn off to the kids’ wing.
Here’s the rundown:
- You have until April 2013 to visit MIDNIGHT to the BOOM: PAINTING IN INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCEworks from the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection
A “wow”, cross-generation response to so many selections in this exhibit, including the Gieve Patels and Sudhir Patwardhan’s Town
- You have until May 27 2013 to visit FreePort [No.006]: Nick Cave
The visionary FreePort exhibits are curated by Trevor Smith who is helping the Gloucester Committee for the Arts as part of the final juror selection panel for the HarborWalk Public Art Challenge
The new Soundsuits for Nick Cave’s installation are intricate and lush, joyous and serious, and SO MUCH BIGGER IN PERSON. My sons—they’re 8– stopped short from the encounter and there was mention of Star Wars and limericks. If it weren’t for one suit entirely covered in buttons they would have lingered. They selected favorites, read the wall label, skipped the headphones, and whooshed right along a curved wall of custom wall paper design After the continuous sounds and sights of Cave’s film installation. They sat through twice; it’s a lot to take in. One of my sons dubbed his favorite Soundsuits from the film: “Mr. Spotty Square Head” and his second “Chewbacca”. I noticed later that neither of his choices showed masks or faces. In the dark and finding a seat, my other son immediately recited:
My father’s name is Sasquatch
My mother’s name is Yeti
They often feast on frozen fish
But I prefer spaghetti
- You have until July 7, 2013 to visit Golden Light Selections from the Van Otterloo Collection
They enjoyed the Golden Light exhibit because of its elaborate touch- screen kiosk for Isaack Koedijck Barber’sSurgeon Tending a Peasant’s Foot. (“It’s RIGHT HERE, um look HERE at the painting itself, not the kiosk!) Spend time too with Maria Schalcken’s self portrait, ca.1650. We always make it in this wing because of the Norman Rockwell lucky boy painting, and the monumental ship models–which we visit whenever we come. I was lucky to know Philip Reisman, and film and write about him back in 1984.
One of his Gloucester fishing industry paintings is tucked in this same wing; make sure to have a look.
The Cape Ann Museum has a fantastic Reisman hanging in their archives room.
- You have until October 2013 to visit FreePort [No.005]: Michael Linn
Thanks to the creative mind of Michael Linn, my sons found anchors and stags, crowns and fish. We journeyed back and forth many collections, scale, spaces and time, enjoying many eureka moments which for them felt like real life I SPY. This also offered me a chance to see the poetry and light of the Bosworth exhibit. LAST CHANCE: you have only till March 31, 2013 to see Natural Histories: Barbara Bosworth’s photography show
Here are some snaps from FreePort [No. 005]: Michael Linn, Peabody Essex Museum
These two FreePort exhibits have a fun balance and flip experience: you’re stationary for the freewheeling movement that is the Nick Cave exhibit; while the quiet, delicate and inanimate objects for FreePort [No.005] make you move throughout different levels, rooms and halls.