Owl Fan

United States

Fan, 1890-1910, United States.

Owls in Art and Nature

On view October 1, 2005 to December 3, 2006

Located in the: Art & Nature Center

Owls have long held a fascination for people, whether as symbols of good or evil, of wisdom, or harbingers of doom. Through a selection of works of art and interactive stations, a new exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) explores the myriad connections between people and owls and why owls look and behave the way they do. Jane Winchell, Sarah Fraser Robbins Director of PEM’s Art & Nature Center, is the curator of this exhibition. Owls in Art and Nature runs from Oct. 1, 2005, to Dec. 3, 2006, in the museum’s Art & Nature Center.

This rich and multi-faceted exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photography, video, and decorative art. Works by 16 contemporary Massachusetts artists are included. Among them are Beverly Seamans, whose marble sculptureconveys the grandeur of the snowy owl; Larimer Richards, whose video installation explores an owl’s night vision; and Sachiko Akiyama, whose sculpture Passage evokes owls’ mystery as well as their frequent role as onlookers. In addition, eight new, original works created for this exhibition will be displayed, as well as objects from the museum’s collections of Native American, Contemporary Indian, and American Decorative art, such as a Tlingit owl amulet and an owl fan.

Complementing the works on display are interactive stations that elaborate on themes such as owls in popular culture, the life cycle, and unique characteristics. These include a “Draw an Owl” art station inspired by the sketches of Clare Walker Leslie, a “Hoot Box” listening station featuring owl hoots and owl-inspired music selections, and an “Owl Survival” ball game by Charbanova.

Related Events

Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest ›
Friday, December 9, 2016 at 7:45pm
Reservations not required


Baby songbirds develop so quickly that some can fly just 11 days after hatching! In 2002, Artist and naturalist Julie Zickefoose began to draw and paint wild nestlings day-by-day, bearing witness to their swift growth. Over the next 13 years, she documented these developments in 17 bird species. More than 400 of these life-sized studies wriggle and hop across the pages of her latest book, Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest. Peek into the nest with Zickefoose as she shares her ground-breaking work and intimate knowledge of these species through images, videos, and colorful anecdotes. A book-signing follows. Co-sponsored by MassAudubon and the Essex County Ornithological Club. This program is made possible by a generous gift from Tim and Joanie Ingraham in memory of Dorothy Addams Brown, beloved honorary PEM trustee and devoted ECOC member. A brief business meeting of the ECOC is held from 7:30-7:45 pm.

Further Reading