Eastward ho!

Indian art expands at PEM; stone artists rock on at Garden in the Woods
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  July 7, 2006


Mahishasuramardini (Triumph over the Buffalo Demon), circa 1855
Founded in 1799, Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum bills itself as “America’s oldest continually operating museum,” and its founders were among this country’s first global entrepreneurs, sailing the world in search of trade and treasure. The museum began acquiring art from India not long after its founding; today, its collection includes more than 4500 objects from that fabulous country, among them documents recounting 18th- and 19th-century voyages there. In 2003, the museum opened a stunning new wing designed by architect Moshde Safdie. Now, thanks to a $500,000 gift from two philanthropic organizations in Massachusetts’s Indian-American community, PEM has almost tripled its existing gallery space for Indian art, and it’s celebrating the occasion with “OF GODS AND MORTALS, TRADITIONAL ART FROM INDIA,” which opens July 15 in the newly named Prashant H. Fadia Foundation and Deshpande Foundation Gallery of Indian Art. Look for paintings, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and textiles dating from the 1800s to the present and highlighting regional styles associated with religious practices alongside portraiture and expressions of prestige and social position (the “mortal” part of the show’s title).

Nature is the rock star at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham, an amazing spot set on 45 acres and filled with 1500 wildflower species. This summer, starting July 15, the Garden in the Woods will also be filled with stone sculptures by eight New England artists in “ROCK ON! CELEBRATING STONE IN THE GARDEN.” On view into the fall, works by Chris Curtis, Linda Hoffman, Jerry Kuyper, Michael Mazur, David Phillips, Ron Rudnicki, Karin Stanley, and Joe Wheelwright will explore the intersection of the organically formed with the humanly transformed; visitors are welcome simply to ooh and aah.

Last chance: two interesting group shows that I missed coming, so I’m going to try and catch them going. Up through July 15, and open only on weekends or by appointment, the Rhys Gallery’s “UNDER THE FORT,” curated by artist Evelyn Rydz, has work by 11 artists who create self-contained imaginative worlds using the familiar materials and experiences of day-to-day life. And on view through July 28, “SWEETNESS” at BU’s Sherman Gallery addresses consumption and desire through images, mainly, of dessert (and coffee!), with work by five artists who lead us right into temptation, indulging our cravings and bringing a feminist critique to images of Jell-O and pie.

“OF GODS AND MORTALS, TRADITIONAL ART FROM INDIA” at Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem | from July 15 | 866.745.1876 | “ROCK ON! CELEBRATING STONE IN THE GARDEN” at Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Rd, Framingham | July 15–October 15 | 508.877.7630 | “UNDER THE FORT” at Rhys Gallery, 70 Northampton St, #105, Boston | thru July 15 | 617.541.2534 | “SWEETNESS” at Sherman Gallery at Boston University, 775 Comm Ave, Boston | through July 28 | 617.358.0295

On the Web
Peabody Essex Museum: http://www.pem.org
Garden in the Woods: http://www.newfs.org
Rhys Gallery: http://www.therhysgallery.com
Sherman Gallery: http://www.bu.edu/cfa/visual

Related: Water world, Magpie and copyist, Slideshow: The Maya And The Mythic Sea at Peabody Essex Museum, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Boston University, Peabody Essex Museum, Charitable Giving,  More more >
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