The must-see art of the summer

Season of surreality
By GREG COOK  |  June 10, 2011

Summer art in New England means driving up Route 1 in Maine with the car windows down, past the odd and amazing roadside metal giraffes and caterpillars, and discovering — as I did a few summers back — a nondescript house that turns out to be Fawcett's Antique Toy & Art Museum. Inside is an astonishing time-machine collection, ranging from early Disney toys to the cowboy duds the radio (!) Lone Ranger wore. When you're done there, sure, you'll find intellectual challenges (the ICA's survey of Eva Hesse's sculptural sketches) as well as eye candy (Tomi Ungerer's menacingly whimsical illustrations, vintage circus photos, Andrew Wyeth's studies for his iconic 1948 painting Christina's World). Wyeth — like artists from Edward Hopper to Iraq War artist Steve Mumford — have been attracted here from Away for decades. They come for adventure.

 Peabody Essex Museum


Lee Miller tracked down Man Ray in Paris in 1929, hoping he'd teach her photography. He was a celebrated Surrealist artist. She was a ravishing flapper fashion model. At first Ray reluctantly took her on, but they soon became creative partners — and lovers. This exhibit rounds up 76 sexy, surreal artworks by the pair, as well as their circle — Picasso, Ernst, Calder, Corbusier. "You are so young and beautiful and free, and I hate myself for trying to cramp that in you which I admire most," Ray wrote her in 1931, a year before she dumped him, and moved to New York to find her own way. "I shall try to be everything you want me to be toward you, because I realize it is the only way to keep you."

PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM | 161 Essex St, Salem, MA | 866.745.1876

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