Press

Salem, Mass.—This spring, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) pays tribute to New England and its rich tradition in the arts with Painting Summer in New England. This groundbreaking exhibition, which opens April 22 and runs through Sept. 4, 2006, showcases the work of more than 80 of America’s best-loved artists, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Andrew Wyeth, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Lois Dodd, and Fairfield Porter––painters who embraced New England as a rich source of inspiration.

To enhance the experience of Painting Summer in New England, the Peabody Essex Museum, the North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (NBCVB), and the Essex National Heritage Commission (ENHC) have partnered to create Art Escapes: Experience the Place that Inspired the Art, a yearlong celebration of the artistic heritage and natural beauty of the North Shore region.

Many of the artists whose work is featured in Painting Summer in New England––Frank Benson, Childe Hassam, Fitz Henry Lane, Stuart Davis, and Marsden Hartley, to name a few––lived and worked in this area, and were inspired by the rocky coastlines, busy seaports, and serene marshlands. The exhibition serves as a gateway to exploring the region’s cultural treasures, including museums, historic homes, and inspirational vistas and towns.

The partnership between PEM, NBCVB, and ENHC to develop Art Escapes is unprecedented for the North of Boston, said Dan Monroe, director and chief executive officer of the Peabody Essex Museum.“ The beauty and artistic heritage of this region is well known, but it’s never been presented in such a clear and focused way for visitors. Art Escapes serves as a comprehensive guide––it shines a spotlight on the full spectrum of the arts in the North Shore.”

Highlights of Art Escapes: Experience the Place that Inspired the Art include the exhibition Painting Summer in New England at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Art Escapes Trail, which reveals connections between art and place, and the website www.escapesnorth.com. This web site, launched Feb. 13, 2006, is the portal for Art Escapes, and features full-day itineraries for different parts of the region, including where to find artists’ homes, their favorite vantage points, and where to see their works today.

Art Escapes builds on the North of Boston’s reputation as a visually beautiful and diverse region and can serve as a model for future regional tourism promotions, said Julie McConchie, director of the North of Boston Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. "Museums, attractions, and sites of diverse staff and marketing budgets are able to offer products that not only extend their marketing reach, but also provide a more compelling package and experience for visitors."

About Painting Summer in New England

New England is renowned for the summer delights and leisure activities afforded by its mountains, villages, and seacoast. Since the 19th century, painters have gathered in New England to capture these activities and landscapes on canvas. In Painting Summer in New England, guest curator Trevor Fairbrother assembles an astonishing array of paintings, ranging from the 1860s to the present, including works by Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Andrew Wyeth, Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Lois Dodd, Alex Katz, and Fairfield Porter. While some works reflect the leisure activities of the summer, others touch on the counterpoints of city living, rural existence, and the impact on natural settings and resources. Painting Summer in New England, organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, opens April 22, 2006 and runs through Sept. 4, 2006.

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PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -  april@pem.org

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Manager of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3228  -  whitney_vandyke@pem.org

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