Explore Art


Welcome to the PEMcast, conversations and stories for the culturally curious.

Host Dinah Cardin takes podcast listeners behind the scenes for stories about the museum that can't be found anywhere else.

Launched in 2014, PEMcast won a Silver Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums. The judges commended us on conveying the warmth and vibrant curiosity of PEM's staff, while linking the museum and our offerings to broader cultural issues.

Find the PEMcast on Spotify, Soundcloud, & iTunes or any podcast app and at PEM's blog Connected.

  • Restoring Justice after the Salem Witch Trials: PEMcast Episode 32

    In this episode of the PEMcast we go behind the scenes of PEM's latest Salem Witch Trials exhibition. We examine objects that belonged to the Salem Puritans and attempts to restore justice from the 17th century to today.

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  • Queerness and Creativity: PEMcast 31

    As we anticipate the return of Pride to Salem, artists Bill Crisafi and Hogan McLaughlin are the featured guests on the PEMcast. They share with us their day-to-day creative collaborations and their compelling story of love.

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  • Following the Thread: PEMcast 30

    In episode 30 of the PEMcast, we follow the thread of a story all about hair. We look at why artist Gu Wenda used human hair to create 188 flags from around the world, currently on view at PEM. We explore our own collection of mourning jewelry with the snipped locks of a loved one. Then we chat with Gio Swaby, whose exhibition Fresh Up is coming to PEM this summer. In her textile portraits, hair reveals the personal creative expression of her subjects. We also share the news that this August, we're hosting the Moth Story Slam. The theme? You got it...hair.

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  • Thangka, Travel and Transformation with Tsherin Sherpa and Robert Beer: PEMcast 29

    In Episode 29 of the PEMcast, we delve into the hearts and minds of two artists, separated by geography and time, but inextricably linked in their curiosity, their exploration of Tibetan Buddhist spirituality and a traditional art form.

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  • PEMcast Episode 28: Drawn to Place

    This episode of the PEMcast looks at what makes some places magnetic. Libraries, museums, certain cultural experiences. Why are we drawn to them? We talk with Canadian artist Shelagh Keeley about her current exhibition at PEM, as well as PEM Curators Trevor Smith and Karina Corrigan.

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  • PEMcast Episode 27: Love and Loss, Part 2

    The second part of PEMcast Episode 27 looks at the brief creative life of Patrick Kelly. This queer, Black fashion designer pushed for racial equality and forever changed fashion before his untimely death at the age of 35. Along with curators and Kelly's former partner, come celebrate the 1980's, as well as Kelly's designs and his meteoric rise from the Jim Crow South to the runways of Paris.

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  • PEMcast Episode 27: Love and Loss

    The pandemic, war, mass shootings, changing laws about our bodies. In Episode 27 of the PEMcast, we explore themes of love and loss while also celebrating PRIDE. Listeners meet Canadian artist Zachari Logan, whose provocative drawings of flowers in various states of transformation speak to the power of loss and a flicker of hope.

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  • PEMcast Episode 26: Our current climate

    Episode 26 of the PEMcast features artists and activists who are inspiring climate action this spring at PEM. Every day is Earth Day around here with Jane Goodall, Wes Bruce, Konstantin Dimopoulos, Stephen Gorman, Edward Koren, Silvia Lopez Chavez and more.

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  • PEMcast Episode 25: Embracing The Great Animal Orchestra and tidying our sonic realm

    In this PEMcast episode, we feature Bernie Krause, the soundscape ecologist behind The Great American Orchestra, an exhibition which immerses us in the sound universe of animals. Matt Clark of United Visual Artists chats about working on this extraordinary audio-visual experience.

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  • PEMcast Episode 24: A Fresh Lens on the Salem Witch Trials

    In this PEMcast episode, we look at the exhibition The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming, which pairs historic trial documents and personal objects with the response of two contemporary artists who have ancestral ties to the Salem witch trials.

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  • PEMcast Episode 23: Postcard from Crystal Bridges

    Join host Dinah Cardin as she heads home for a visit to the Ozarks and to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, PEM's co-organizer for the exhibition In American Waters.

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  • PEMcast Episode 22: Thank you, Mr. Peabody, father of philanthropy

    Join host Dinah Cardin in this episode of the PEMcast as she dives into the history of George Peabody, the father of philanthropy in America, and how this relates to the museum and the new PEM Prize.

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  • PEMcast episode 21, Part 2: Sea Shanties and the Environment

    In part two of this two-part series, Host Dinah Cardin explores PEM’s new Climate + Environment initiative and its two related maritime exhibitions.

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  • PEMcast 21, Part 1: The sea shanty craze

    Episode 21 of the PEMcast looks at the recent sea shanty craze across social media channels. Host Dinah Cardin visits PEM's collection of sea shanty books and sheet music and talks with maritime music experts. You'll be singing along.

    Transcript of Episode 21, Part 1

  • PEMcast 020: Just breathe

    In this episode of the PEMcast we explore the transformative power of breath with featured artist Zarah Hussain. From our new mediation gallery, we delve into PEM's Being Well initiative and what it could mean for a community seeking health and healing during the pandemic.

    Transcript of Episode 020

  • PEMcast 019: The Legacy of Salem's Witch Trials

    PEM’s award-winning podcast goes beyond the often-told story of the Salem witch trials for a deeper understanding of what happened in 1692. What lessons of this horrifc event resonate with us today?

    Transcript of Episode 019

  • PEMcast 018: Alterations

    In this episode of the PEMcast we look at the many ways in which crisis leads to creativity and how facial coverings have given legions of creatives a reason to dust off their sewing machines.

    Transcript of Episode 018

  • PEMcast 017: Life at Sea

    Our series on creative constraints continues with maritime curator Dan Finamore's story of life at sea for a 19th century mariner.

    Transcript of Episode 017

  • PEMcast 016: Creative Constraint

    In this episode of the PEMcast, we hear from Siddhartha and Dinah reports from the streets of Salem, MA to show how COVID-19 has altered our city.

    Transcript of Episode 016

  • PEMcast 015: The Struggle

    Shortly after Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle opened at PEM, comments in the guest book for the exhibition sparked a conversation about how we do things here at the museum.

    Transcript of Episode 015

  • PEMcast 014: Be here now

    Join hosts Dinah Cardin and Chip Van Dyke as they explore how artist Kimsooja's deceptively simple instructions are affecting the mindset of thousands of museum visitors.

  • PEMcast 013: #newpem

    The PEMcast returns with an episode all about change. The Peabody Essex Museum has just opened a new 40,000-square-foot wing. A new director has just taken the helm for the first time in 26 years. Many are asking, "what's next?". It's a scene-setting moment for one of the oldest and fastest-growing museums in the country.

  • PEMcast 012: Immersive experiences | Part 3

    How can museums heighten a sense of empathy and wonder? Increasingly immersive environments and multi-sensory experiences are coming into play. Tune into the most recent installment of the PEMcast as we explore the immersive experience.

  • PEMcast 011: Immersive experiences | Part 2

    How can museums heighten a sense of empathy and wonder? Increasingly immersive environments and multi-sensory experiences are coming into play. Tune into the most recent installment of the PEMcast as we explore the immersive experience.

  • PEMcast 010: Immersive experiences | Part 1

    Museums and artists have long played on people's sense of empathy and wonder. But now, more than ever, museums are incorporating all the senses in exhibition design and in the design of the whole museum.

  • PEMcast 009: The Winter Caretaker

    Please enjoy this interview with Alex de Steiguer about her work as a photographer and as the winter caretaker of Star Island.

  • PEMcast 008.3: The Crushers

    This episode of the PEMcast finishes our three part Historic House Crush series. It features a story about historic house crusher, Karina Waters . Karina is one crusher whose great vision for a crumbling chateau in the French Pyrenees has taken her love of historic architecture to the next level.

  • PEMcast 008.2: Building Stories

    The second of three episodes in promotion of our #historichousecrush campaign! In this episode, we talk with people who are pushing the envelope — to use a building term — on presenting historic houses to the public. They're changing the way these houses are run and the way we experience them.

  • PEMcast 008.1: Historic House Crush

    In this episode, we explore how almost exactly 50 years ago, Salem was saved from the wrecking ball thanks to one woman and her mighty pen. This is the first in a series of episodes we're producing about historic buildings around the world and the stories they tell. We're also relaunching our online campaign #HistoricHouseCrush. Join us!

    Transcript of Episode 008.1

  • PEMcast 007: Blue & White Magic

    Porzellankrankheit is a German term that means "porcelain sickness." It describes the obsessive behavior of a person smitten by porcelain's mysterious beauty. On this episode, we meet with some people who are very obviously obsessed with the blue and white magic of Chinese porcelain.

  • PEMcast 006: Getting Outside

    In this episode Chip and Dinah celebrate PEM's current public art initiative. We look at three artists and three exhibitions that took us outdoors beyond our walls.

  • PEMcast 005: Epic America

    In this episode of the PEMcast, we examine the life of one of America's most famous 20th century painters who you may not know.

    Transcript of Episode 005

  • PEMcast 004: Good As Gould

    Episode 4 of the PEMcast discovers the hidden legacy of Nathaniel Gould in furniture-maker Phil Lowe and collector Tim Leavy.

    Transcript of Episode 004

  • PEMcast 003: Growing Up Curious

    Are you, or were you a curious kid? Do museums fuel your curiosity? Chip and Dinah talk with a 3-year-old who visits PEM daily.

    Transcript of Episode 003

  • PEMcast 002: Makers

    Are you a Maker? Do you know what a Maker is? Dinah and Chip discuss Adam Savage's "Rules of Making" with Edie Shimel. Then, PEM's Curator of the Present Tense Trevor Smith talks about PEM's upcoming exhibition featuring Maker-extraordinaire Theo Jansen and his Strandbeests.

    Transcript of Episode 002

  • PEMcast 001: Music

    PEMcast 001 is all about music. We look at the story of the most famous musician in Greek myth, Orpheus. PEM Composer-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin explores the myth of Orpheus and his fateful journey to the underworld. From there we head to France to explore Jean Cocteau's Orphic trilogy and then back to Salem for some of PEM's most memorable audio moments.

    Transcript of Episode 001

Related \\ Connected

PEMcast 019: The Legacy of Salem's Witch Trials

Related \\ Connected

PEMcast Episode 15: The Struggle

Related \\ Connected

PEMcast 014: Be Here Now