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Join PEM For an Anchor Drop

Monday, September 16 at 2 pm

PEM invites public to celebrate historic 4,450-pound anchor’s return to the museum campus

SALEM, MA — In coordination with the opening of its new wing, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) invites the public to join Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and the museum’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO, Brian Kennedy, and James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deptuy Director and Chief Curator, Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, to witness history in the making.

A 4450-pound anchor, which came to the museum in 1906 through the United States Navy, will be gently re-installed on PEM’s campus on Monday, September 16 at 2pm. From an unknown vessel, the anchor was hand-forged during the era of the early frigates, sometime between 1790 and 1812. It’s twisted shank suggests it endured a massive storm.

To protect it during the construction of PEM’s new wing, which opens to the public on September 28, the anchor was removed from its station in front of East India Marine Hall and has recently undergone extensive conservation treatment. The anchor will be placed in front of East India Marine Hall just in time for the celebration of the museum’s new wing, located just adjacent to the Hall.

As PEM’s first new director in 26 years, Brian Kennedy, the Rose-Marie and Eijk von Otterloo Director and CEO, is working with PEM staffers to open the museum’s stunning new wing to the public on September 28, furthering PEM’s intertwined history with that of the city of Salem. As he honors the maritime roots of both the museum and the city, Kennedy is working to find new ways to integrate the museum’s past, present, and future. Join PEM staff to take a photograph together in front of Salem’s old friend, the anchor, at the foundational building of the museum, East India Marine Hall.

High-resolution images available upon request.

Share your impressions of this experience using #newPEM

Eric H. Muller (photographer), East India Marine Hall, ca. 1867. Photographic print. 'Salem Streets' drawer, folder 63. Courtesy of the Phillips Library. © Peabody Essex Museum.

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic, and African art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $6 (plus museum admission). Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit

Whitney Van Dyke | Director of Communications | | 978-542-1828