Peabody Essex Museum Expansion Gives New Reasons to Visit Salem

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The Peabody Essex Museum in nearby Salem has many interesting exhibits and opportunities to explore in the coming months. Among these is the recently redesigned Art & Nature Center, which opened late last year and features all new exhibition spaces, interactive stations and art studios. So, if it has been awhile since you have been to the Peabody Essex Museum or if you are a first time visitor, now is a good time to check out what the museum has to offer.

Designed to bridge the human creativity with the natural world, the Art & Nature Center offers special programs, multimedia events and a variety of exhibits throughout the year. The current exhibit, Beyond Human: Artist-Animal Collaborations, will be on display until September 7th. This exhibit features nearly 40 paintings, photographs, installations, audio recordings and video recordings made by artists who co-create with animals. The exhibit features the works of artists such as William Wegman, Mary Jo McConnell and Julia Oldham. It also offers opportunities to interact with live animals and to view works created by animals, including paintings created by Asian elephants.

In addition to featuring changing exhibits, the new Art & Nature Center also offers permanent art and nature displays. These displays are meant to help uncover stories behind the evolving relationship between humans and nature. Exhibits include interactive sculpture and displays meant to excite people of all ages. Even toddlers can join in the fun at the Investigative Zone, which offers low tables and provides opportunities for the little ones to explore, investigate and invent.

As one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the country and one of the top 20 art museums in the United States, the Peabody Essex Museum also has much more to offer than its new Art & Nature Center. In fact, the museum is well known for having one of the largest collections of Asian art in the United States. In all, the museum houses around 1.3 million pieces and maintains twenty-four historic structures and gardens. Some of the pieces and exhibits available at the museum include maritime art, American decorative art, Native American art, African art, Oceanic art, rare books and manuscripts, photography and architecture.

Located at 161 Essex Street in Salem, which is approximately 16 miles north of Boston, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. On the third Thursday of every month, the museum stays open late until 9:00 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays, except for Memorial Day and Labor Day. The museum is also open on Independence Day and on Columbus Day. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students with IDs. Children 16 and under, residents of Salem, people who work in Salem and museum members are all admitted for free. On Thursday late nights, admission is $10 after 5:00.

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