Sat & Sun
Museum Exhibitions - Ongoing Throughout Boston Design Week
Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence
Museum of Fine Art
465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Dates: March 26 - July 16, 2023
Taking a new approach to this endlessly inventive and versatile Japanese artist, “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence” explores his impact both during his lifetime and beyond. More than 100 woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated books by Hokusai are on view alongside about 200 works by his teachers, students, rivals, and admirers, creating juxtapositions that demonstrate his influence through time and space.
Katsushika Hokusai, Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa-oki nami-ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) (detail), about 1830–31. Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper. William Sturgis Bigelow Collection.
The Provincetown Printmakers
Museum of Fine Art
465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Dates: April 1 - October 15, 2023
Drawing from the collection of the late Leslie and Johanna Garfield, this exhibition focuses on the work of six artists: Ada Gilmore Chaffee, Maud Hunt Squire, Ethel Mars, Mildred McMillen, Juliette Nichols, and B. J. O. Nordfeldt—the first pioneering group that came together in Provincetown to practice color woodblock printing. Generous in spirit, they trained other artists and shared their innovations, helping turn Provincetown into a renowned center for printmaking. The nearly 50 inventive prints on view build on the traditions of Japanese woodcuts and European modernism, using bold colors and dramatic lines to illustrate coastal houses, fishers at work, and other scenes of daily life on the Cape. A salon-style wall featuring work by students and successors to the original nucleus of printmakers, including the key figure Blanche Lazzell, reveals the persistent creative energy that continues to make Provincetown an artistic destination.
Blanche Lazzell, Provincetown Back Yards (detail), 1926. Color woodcut (white-line). The Leslie and Joanna Garfield Collection—Partial gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield and Museum
Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
Opened March 11, 2023
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) unveiled more than 100 fresh works from the museum’s global fashion and textile collection, including nearly 40 recent acquisitions that spotlight the vibrant and flamboyant collection of Boston-based entrepreneur and doyenne of fashion Yolanda Cellucci. PEM’s Fashion & Design Gallery features more than 180 examples of contemporary and historic dress, as well as textiles, accessories, sculpture, studio glass and decorative arts and furniture drawn from PEM’s vast and storied collection.
Models on a fashion runway, one in a bridal ensemble, held at the North Shore Music Theater, Beverly, MA, for the benefit of the American Cancer Society, Oct. 3, 1985. The event included comedian Joan Rivers and designer Bob Mackie as special guests. Yolanda Cellucci Papers, MSS 1871, Box 7, Folder 6, Item 1. Courtesy of Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Rowley, MA.
Gu Wenda: United Nations
Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
Dates: April 1 - November 5, 2023
Gu Wenda is among the most significant artists to emerge from China in the last 50 years. His awe-inspiring installations immerse visitors in a vision of shared humanity, global connectivity, and mass participation. He began as an ink painter, but by 1993 Gu began his united nations series, in which he works with human hair and other bodily materials. In 2000, he debuted his most expansive hair installation to date, united nations: man and space, which recreated the 188 flags of the member states of the United Nations from hair samples sourced from six continents. Using a material viscerally associated with the human body, this dramatic installation makes a powerful statement about what unites us as human beings across borders, racial, and political divides.
Gu Wenda, united nations - man and space (1999–2000), as installed at the Saatchi Gallery, 2014–2015. Human hair, glue and twine. © Gu Wenda Studio.
Historic New England: Tours at Gropius House
68 Baker Bridge Rd #3105, Lincoln, MA 01773
Hours of Operation:
May – October, Thursday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
November – April, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus, came to teach at Harvard in 1937 and designed this house as his family home. Modest in scale, Gropius House was revolutionary in its influence. It combined familiar elements of New England houses—wood siding, stone foundation, and brick chimney—with industrial materials like glass block, acoustical plaster, and chrome banisters, and the latest technology in fixtures. Every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design. The house contains family possessions and an important collection of Bauhaus furniture designed by Marcel Breuer.
Harvard Art Museum
32 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Dates: January 28, 2023–May 7, 2023
Exhibition is included with General Admission; March 4, 2022–July 31, 2022
This installation probes the relationship between modernist painting and modern textiles to subvert the traditional hierarchy of value within which these arts have typically been understood. The ultimate objective is to produce a more inclusive and expansive history of the development of modernism since the later 19th century—one that is better able to acknowledge the labor of women as artists and artisans. Highlights include a cluster of works by Edouard Vuillard, which show his mother and sister dressmaking in their family home, where he lived and painted for much of his life. Sonia Delaunay is represented by a late lithograph that harks back to her very first abstraction in 1911, which was a patchwork coverlet for her newborn child. The modernist grid of Anni Albers’s large-scale wall hanging lays bare the structural condition of weaving itself—the interaction of warp and weft threads.
Gunta Stölzl, Textile Sample, 20th century. Textile fibers. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund, BR49.697. © Stölzl Estate, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Lex Brown: Carnelian
MIT List Visual Arts Center
20 Ames Street, Bldg. E15, Atrium level, Cambridge, MA 02139
Dates: April 4 - July 16, 2023
Spanning video, sculpture, drawing, writing, performance, and the podcast 1-800-POWERS, Lex Brown’s incisive artworks confront pressing social conditions of our time, from gentrification and greenwashing to police violence, but do so through an irreverent and sometimes jarring use of humor. Focusing on a fictional corporate conglomerate named Omnesia, her recent video, Communication (2021), takes to task the “cosmic manifest destiny” bids of futurist technologists like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson who seek to colonize and privatize outer space while advancing automation, AI, and big data on this planet. Hyperbolic caricatures of tech executives, played by Brown, receive advice from an AI named Sylvie on how best to harness social media to gather people’s data and desires (in the form of likes, shares, and “tapbacks”) and aid Omnesia’s burgeoning real estate empire. Here, and throughout her work, Brown savvily observes how our relationships to various media—both as consumers and, increasingly, “users” and content producers, all subject to the invisible sway of algorithms—contours our lived experience.
Photo: Bob Sweeney
BETYE SAAR: HEART OF A WANDERER
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115
Dates: February 16 - May 21, 2023
Celebrated contemporary artist and leading figure of the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s, Betye Saar (b. 1926, United States) is a traveler, collector, and storyteller. Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer explores Saar’s trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, highlighting works influenced by her many trips and her engagement with global histories of travel. Through these profound works, the artist reflects on themes of race, colonialism, forced migration, and spiritual systems that blend religious traditions from around the world. Showcasing the sketchbooks she used to capture ideas during her trips and later for her finished works, the exhibition celebrates Saar’s creative process and her ability to conjure the transporting experience of a voyage to a faraway place.
Betye Saar, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Photo by David Sprague
Landscape of Memory: Seven Installations from the Barjeel Art Foundation (Sharjah, UAE)
McMullen Museum of Art
2101 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02135
Dates: January 30–June 4, 2023
Landscape of Memory presents installations created from 1998 to 2011 by artists Adel Abidin, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Marwa Arsanios, Mona Hatoum, Lamia Joreige, Maha Maamoun, and Basim Magdy. Drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the exhibition’s works probe questions of causes and effects of war, personal and national identity, exile and belonging, and memory and commemoration in films, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and multimedia displays. The exhibition is accompanied by a Portal in the third-floor Monan Gallery hosted by Shared_Studios in which groups can engage in real time, immersive conversations with other Portals in refugee camps and arts centers across the globe.
© Sadik Kwaish Alfraji (Baghdad, Iraq, 1960–), The House My Father Built, 2010 Image courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah
Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love
The Rose Art Museum
415 South St, Waltham, MA 02453
Dates: February 9, 2023 - July 2, 2023
Drawing together photographs and installations from both his celebrated and lesser-known series, Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love charts new connections across the artistic practice of Lyle Ashton Harris (b. 1965, Bronx, NY). His first solo presentation in New England in more than two decades, the exhibition explores Harris’s critical examination of identity and self-portraiture while tracing central themes and formal approaches in his work of the last 35 years. The artist’s recently-completed Shadow Works anchor the exhibition. In these meticulous constructions, photographic prints are set within geometric frames of stretched Ghanaian funerary textiles, along with shells, shards of pottery, and cuttings of the artist’s own hair. Our first and last love follows the cues of the Shadow Works’ collaged and pictured elements—which include earlier artworks and reference materials, personal snapshots, and handwritten notes—to shed light on Harris’s layered approach to his practice.
Lyle Ashton Harris, Succession, 2020. Ghanaian cloth, dye sublimation prints, and artist’s ephemera. Private collection. © Lyle Ashton Harris. Courtesy the artist and LGDR, New York.
Jace Clayton: They Are Part
MassArt Art Museum
621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Dates: February 23–July 30, 2023
Jace Clayton creates multisensory experiences that explore the unexpected and conversational nature of music from around the world. Interested in how sounds have and define social meaning, Clayton pens musical compositions, creates new audio instruments, and constructs participatory installations. They Are Part brings together three of Clayton’s works that interweave memories, sound, and public spaces, to create what he describes as “those waves of magic that happen when the human spirit joins with technology.”
Jace Clayton, 40 Part Part, 2022. Forty speakers on stands, wooden benches and plinth, electronics, custom software. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mel Taing ‘12
Creative Alloys: The Boston Metals Scene
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak St, Brockton, MA 02301
Dates: January 28 , 2023 - June 4 , 2023
Artists are often part of creative ecosystems, working within a network of allies that inspire, educate, and support their careers. Creative Alloys: The Boston Metals Scene spotlights the vibrant metalsmithing and jewelry community that has ignited Boston over the past five decades. Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Daniel Jocz: Permission Granted in Fuller Craft Museum’s M. Tarlow Gallery, Creative Alloys will spotlight the vigor and imagination of the unique artistic scene and the creative context from which sculptor Jocz emerged. This project has been supported by a grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust.
Image Credit: Joe Wood, “Loopy” Brooch, 2002
Riotous Threads: Fiber Works from Gateway Arts
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak St, Brockton, MA 02301
Dates: December 17, 2022 - June 25, 2023
This vibrant exhibition features works made with fiber by artists from Gateway Arts, an internationally acclaimed studio art center, gallery, and store that supports meaningful lives and careers in art for adults with disabilities. Located in Brookline, MA, Gateway Arts has nurtured the creative talents of artists with diverse diagnoses, strengths, and needs for nearly 50 years. Riotous Threads features a range of fiber creations, from lush embroidery and colorful felt forms to found object sculptures and intricate weavings. Each object on view is a spirited celebration of the artist’s creative accomplishments and the transformative potential of the stitch. The exhibition also underscores the importance of organizations like Gateway Arts to the health and vitality of our communities.
Image Credit: Donna Esolen, Untitled, 2021, embroidery floss on printed fabric
Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor
Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609
Samurai, members of Japan's warrior class, ruled the country for nearly a millennium, from the 12th through the 19th century, and continue to be revered as symbols of bravery, loyalty, and honor. While they initially rose to power due to their military prowess, they maintained their elevated positions through political, financial, and cultural acumen. The elaborate arms and armor of the samurai thus speak to their duties as both warriors and statesmen; these materials could withstand the rigors of warfare, but were also aesthetic objects appropriate for ceremonial purposes and public display. During the peaceful Edo period (1615-1868), samurai arms and armor evolved from functional military gear to coveted symbols of wealth, status, and power.
Japanese, 64-plate Hoshi Kabuto (rivet helmet), 1500s, iron, lacquer, copper alloy, gilded shakudo, leather, silk and fabric. The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, 2014.720
Fire and Water: An Exploration of the Great Fire of Boston
2450 Beacon St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Exhibition is included with General Admission
Fire and Water will examine how both the Boston Fire Department and Water System struggled to keep up with explosive population growth in 19th century Boston. Visitors will see how each evolved both before and after the Great Fire of Boston in 1872, and why this infamous event was such a crucial turning point in their development. This exhibition will feature a variety of high-resolution photos showing the aftermath of the Great Fire, various historic artifacts on loan from the Boston and Bare Cove Fire Museums, and interactive elements – including a computer game where visitors will have their chance to fight the blaze.
Virtual Mini Tour: Mechanized Transportation
Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
154 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453
Tour is free online. Details at
Explore some of our mechanized human transportation exhibits and artifacts via the following six stop video tour! As the industrial revolution stoked the spread of urbanization, so did it prompt the demand for faster, more reliable transportation. Prior to the 19th century, ground transport was a rudimentary localized trade-- it was still the age of horses and stagecoaches. But with more roads and rails being laid down across the country, and the development of the factory system, engineers and industrialists were quick to capitalize on the opportunity to turn the trade into an industry.