Art & Nature Center

Boy and Arctic Wolf

The Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center

Completely redesigned, the expanded Art & Nature Center showcases original exhibitions that investigate our interconnections with nature through contemporary art, memorable objects and interactive experiences. Designed for visitors of all ages, the new family-friendly center features changing exhibitions, hands-on displays and art-making spaces.

Changing Art & Nature Exhibitions

These revolving shows explore timely topics at the interface of human experience and the natural world.

Discover how contemporary artists are using visual scale to expand our awareness of the world and to foster new ways of seeing in Sizing it Up: Scale in Nature and Art. On view now in the Art & Nature Center.

Check out all of our Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions below.

Art & Nature Displays

Discover art and natural specimens from the museum's collection that reveal stories about our evolving relationship with nature. Interactive sculptures and exploratory stations also invite you to play and invent as you investigate your own connections with the environment. The Investigate! Zone, with its fun things to do and create on low tables, shows toddlers and preschoolers there's a place here for them, too!

Art-making Spaces

Exercise your creativity at PEM! Visit the Art Nook and Create Space for a wide range of drop-in programs and art-making workshops. (See the Events Calendar for details.)


Check out the latest blog posts about the center at Connected.

Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions

Branching Out: Trees as Art
Branching Out: Trees as Art
September 27, 2014 to September 13, 2015
Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
October 19, 2013 to September 7, 2014
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
June 18, 2011 to July 8, 2012
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
June 19, 2010 to May 22, 2011
Trash Menagerie
Trash Menagerie
June 20, 2009 to May 23, 2010
Polar Attractions
Polar Attractions
June 28, 2008 to June 7, 2009
Origami Now!
Origami Now!
June 16, 2007 to June 8, 2008
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
December 16, 2006 to June 3, 2007
Owls in Art and Nature
Owls in Art and Nature
October 1, 2005 to December 3, 2006
In Nature's Company
In Nature's Company
October 9, 2004 to September 18, 2005

Related events For families

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, July 2, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, July 3, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

19th-Century Cooking
Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 11am - 12pm Summer Series at Ropes Mansion

Learn about 19th-century cooking and recipes used by the Ropes family with food historian and contemporary food essayist Sandra Oliver. The session is followed with a free drop-in art-making activity, bird seed feeders, from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Mansion Garden, which is open to the public. Cold lemonade is served. Garden activity is weather permitting. Talk made possible by the Margaret Nowell Graham Lecture Fund. Free drop-in garden activity made possible by the Ropes Mansion Botanical Lecture Fund.

 

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, July 10, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Ropes Mansion Furniture
Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 11am - 12pm Summer Series at Ropes Mansion

See highlights of the furniture collection with Dean Lahikainen, The Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Art. The session is followed with a free drop-in art-making activity, hanging plant pouches, from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Mansion Garden, which is open to the public. Cold lemonade is served. Garden activity is weather permitting. Talk made possible by the Margaret Nowell Graham Lecture Fund. Free drop-in garden activity made possible by the Ropes Mansion Botanical Lecture Fund.

 

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Gulls Ahoy! Life and Art of the Seashore
Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 2pm - 3pm STORY TRAILS

Have you ever watched gulls in action or wondered where they live? Explore more about these squawking seabirds and the Isles of Shoals as we read Oscar the Herring Gull by Nancy M. Donovan. Join us for a story in the exhibition gallery where paintings by Childe Hassam serve as an inspirational backdrop then meet artist Laurie Bebick and make your own art using objects from the seashore as alternative paintbrushes.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Ropes Mansion Garden
Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 11am - 12pm Summer Series at Ropes Mansion

Explore the Ropes Mansion's 1912 garden design with Paula Richter, Curator for Exhibitions and Research. The session is followed with a free drop-in art-making activity, French beaded flowers, from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Mansion Garden, which is open to the public. Cold lemonade is served. Garden activity is weather permitting. Talk made possible by the Margaret Nowell Graham Lecture Fund. Free drop-in garden activity made possible by the Ropes Mansion Botanical Lecture Fund.

 

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, July 24, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Ropes Mansion Tours
Saturday, July 30, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

Ropes Mansion Tours
Sunday, July 31, 2016 from 12pm - 4pm 318 Essex Street, Salem

Every Saturday and Sunday through fall.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, the Georgian Colonial was built around 1727 and was home to four generations of the Ropes family. It is recognized as one of New England's most significant and thoroughly documented historic houses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Filled with original furnishings, the Ropes Mansion contains superb examples of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, ceramics and glass, silver, kitchenwares, textiles and personal objects.


Also this summer, PEM offers three special programs on Saturdays in July (9, 16 and 23), including a look at 19th-century cooking, highlights of the Ropes furniture collection, and an exploration of the Ropes Mansion Garden. Each program will be followed by a free drop-in art-making activity from noon to 2 pm in the Ropes Garden, weather permitting. Check the calendar and Connections members' magazine for more information.

 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 3, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.