Collections

The Day's Catch, 1907 (detail)

Have you ever considered a museum’s collection an invitation to investigate your own relationship to creativity, or to interpret art and culture?

To engage the mind and spirit, the PEM collection offers outstanding works primarily from the 1700s to today: paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, textiles, architecture and decorative objects. Our African, American, Asian, maritime, Native American and Oceanic art emphasizes the lively conversation that occurs through creativity across time, place and culture.

1.8 million works — many of them the first to be collected in this country — offer experiences unique among American art museums. At PEM, our goal is not to hang art on the walls and then tell you what to think. Deep and far ranging, the collection opens windows onto how people live, work and celebrate. Here, you can explore art and the world in which it is made — revealing and comparing concepts of creativity, individuality, community, tradition, spirituality and even emotion. And the connections you make, because of your own experiences, inspire a journey as important as the artworks themselves.