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Kirk Hammett’s horror and sci-fi art collection goes on view at PEM

Released March 30, 2017

Kirk Hammett’s World-Renowned Horror and Sci-Fi Art Collection on View at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM)


It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection
On view August 12 to November 26, 2017

SALEM, MA -- This August, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) debuts the exclusive presentation of It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection. Kirk Hammett, best known as the lead guitarist of Metallica, is also an avid collector of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters. This exhibition features 135 works that provide insight into the evolution of horror and sci-fi films and how they have played upon contemporary societal fears. Hammett acknowledges his poster collection as a source of inspiration for his own musical creativity. The exhibition, on view August 12 through November 26, 2017, features film posters as well as collectible electric guitars, monster masks and sculptures.

Exhibition Highlights:

  • First major exhibition of Kirk Hammett’s world-renowned collection
  • Exhibition features 84 posters and 8 guitars, as well as lobby cards, film props and costumes, original artwork and toys
  • Features work by legendary graphic designers as well as unidentified masters
  • Explores our complicated relationship to fear as well as how this artwork fuels Kirk Hammett’s creativity

Thematic sections:

  • The Undead (Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein)
  • The Collector
  • Classic Tales
  • Other Realms (Aliens, The Deep)
  • Women and Power
  • Horror Spoofs
  • The Eyes
  • Mad Science
  • Zombies

A 120-page exhibition catalogue with 90 color illustrations, It's Alive! Classic Sci-Fi and Horror Movie Posters from the Kirk Hammett Collection, is edited by Daniel Finamore, PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History. This generously illustrated book highlights the finest examples from Hammett’s personal collection—an astonishing trove of horror and sci-fi film posters that span the history of the genre—along with intriguing essays by Daniel Finamore, Joseph LeDoux, and Steve Almond on the rise of horror culture and the rise it gives us. R. Kikuo Johnson illustrated the eye-popping cover. The catalogue is published by the Peabody Essex Museum and Skira Rizzoli. The catalogue is available for pre-order through PEM Shop at the museum and online.

Available upon request.

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. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-four 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, and the Phillips Library, which holds one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $6. 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

Amelia Kantrovitz | Exhibition Publicist | 978-542-1830 |

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