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

Maker Lounge Open House ›
Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 2pm - 4pm

Stop by the Maker Lounge to Meet David Yann Robert, our newest maker-in-residence. Robert is currently an exhibiting artist in Branching Out: Trees as Art in the Art & Nature Center and co-founder of the Center for Children's Speculative Design. At the Open House, he and a few youth designers will talk about the Speculative Lifeforms project they are working on during Robert's residency.
Also, learn about:
- upcoming low-cost workshops for adults
- events for all ages
- the equipment and materials in the space
Share your feedback and suggestions for programs you'd like to see in the Maker Lounge. You'll also meet other makers, tinkerers, technologists, creatives and crafters here in Salem!


Dawn Chorus: Birdsong before Sunrise › For preteens through adults
Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7:45pm
Reservations not required


Join the author of The Singing Life of Birds for a special art and science acoustic tour of some of the finest and most intriguing dawn performers among North American songbirds.

listen to sparrows

Don Kroodsma's recording of male Brewer's Sparrows all singing madly in the dark, well before sunrise.

Let it Grow – School Vacation Week ›
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 10:30am - 4pm

Included with museum admission

Spread your branches to celebrate the return of spring and join our Earth Day festivities!


The Leaf Men
10:30-11 am | meet at information desk

Who are the mysterious Leaf Men and can they save the backyard from the evil Spider Queen?



Bark Building
10:30 am-1 pm | outside the museum

Join Branching Out artist Kyle Browne to create a forest mural along the front of the museum.



Seedling Pots
11 am-2 pm | Create Space

Decorate a seedling pot and be ready to plant for spring! Early participants also get an evergreen tree seedling to take home.



Tree Eavesdropping
1-3 pm, | outside the museum

Meet Branching Out artist and Maker Lounge Artist-in-Residence David Yann Robert and learn how to eavesdrop on the inner life of a tree, then create an original artwork.



Leaf Carpet
1-4 pm | Atrium

Compose patterns and original designs with laminated leaves, inspired by the work of Branching Out artist Joan Backes.


Further Reading