“My Dear Davey and Chester …”

On view through March 27, 2022

These words, teeming with affection, symbolize the close relationships Indian artists forged with Massachusetts-based collectors Chester and Davida “Davey” Herwitz over the course of the couple’s long-standing engagement with modern Indian art and artists.

The letters and photographs shared in this Phillips Library Gallery exhibition are a fraction of Chester and Davida’s personal archive, which they donated to PEM along with 1,275 works of art and their library of more than 6,000 books. (A complete catalog of Herwitz-related material in PEM's Phillips Library may be found HERE and related finding aids are available HERE.) The artists’ words, which are detailed in transcriptions, demonstrate how they influenced the Herwitzes’ appreciation for Indian art and helped them develop a network of friendships and build their collection.

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TOP IMAGE: Maqbool Fida (M.F.) Husain, Wedding invitation (detail), 1983. Ink, paint, rice and string on paper. Phillips Library. Gift of Chester and Davida Herwitz, 2002. Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, MSS 871, box 2, folder 2. © The Estate of M.F. Husain.

Plan your visit

PEM is open Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Fridays 10 am-7 pm and holiday Mondays.

Learn what steps are being taken to ensure the health and safety of our community at pem.org/safety.

Visitors may purchase advanced general admission tickets at pem.org/tickets or by calling 978-542-1511.

Admission: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12; youth, members, and Salem residents free.

Location: East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970.

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India and its people