We offer daily gallery and house tours for every age and audience. Choose from a brief, focused discussion about a single work of art, tours designed just for families and a unique look at spectacular homes built worlds apart. Tours are included with museum admission. Tickets are available at the admissions desk. Please note that space is limited and tours are subject to availability. For detailed information on this month’s tours, please visit the Calendar.
Highlights of the Peabody Essex Museum
Discover outstanding artistic and cultural creativity from around the world. As one of the oldest museums in continuous existence in the country, PEM is home to objects from around the globe that open our eyes to the multilayered and interconnected world of creative expression. Visit a selection of powerful works unique to PEM and explore the history of this one-of-a-kind museum.
Length: One hour
Special Exhibition Tour
An experienced docent introduces your group to a current special exhibition. Visit www.pem.org/exhibitions for a list of current special exhibitions.
Length: 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the exhibition
Two Merchant’s Houses
Explore two of the museum’s architectural treasures for a cross-cultural look at design, furnishings and family life. Visit the Gardner-Pingree house, built for the Gardner family in 1804 by Salem architect and woodcarver Samuel McIntire, and the Yin Yu Tang house from the late Qing dynasty, home of the Huang family for 200 years in southeastern China. These two homes, built around the same time by successful merchants and originally located 8,000 miles apart, offer fascinating glimpses of trade, daily life, values and aesthetics in two cultures connected by trade.
Length: One hour and 15 minutes
Shelter to Showpiece: Three Centuries of Salem Architecture and Design
Trends in home design come and go; "reading" a house’s architectural style can reveal clues about the time it was built, the tastes of its occupants and their social aspirations. Investigate the idea of "style" by visiting a First Period house, a Georgian style house and a Federal-era mansion for an in-depth look at the architectural elements, interior finishes and parlor furnishings that turn a simple shelter into a home. Trace the evolution of iconic American styles that architects still reference today.
Length: One hour