Yup’ik artist; Mask representing walaunuk, early 1900s; Wood, feathers, and paint; 34 x 21 ½ x 17 inches (86.4 x 54.6 x 43.2 cm); National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 9/3432; Photograph by Walter Larrimore/NMAI.
Greater Boston's art-museum building boom continues with the debut of an expanded Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in January. The contrast between Isabella's old brick palace and the shiny glass addition is just one example of how art this winter will span the historic to the brand new.
SHAPESHIFTING: TRANSFORMATIONS IN NATIVE AMERICAN ART | Peabody Essex Museum | January 14–April 29 | What links an ancient Native American carved stone hand to a 17th century New England war club to a contemporary whale skeleton fashioned from plastic chairs to breakdancing? Curator Karen Kramer Russell assembles nearly 80 sculptures, ceramics, videos, and paintings from several centuries to trace persistent ideas and styles in indigenous American culture.
161 Essex St, Salem | $15 | 866.745.1876 or pem.org
LOOK AHEAD: All the movies, music, theater, games, restaurants (and more!) you'll be checking out in 2012