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PEM reopens to the public with enhanced health and safety protocols on July 18

Released July 3, 2020

SALEM, MA — The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is pleased to announce that it will reopen its doors in accordance with public health recommendations and guidance on Saturday, July 18. This announcement follows Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration that Massachusetts will embark on Phase 3 of its reopening.

Museum members, generous patrons, and contributors to the #WeArePEM campaign — which provided memberships to over 300 caregivers at North Shore Medical Center — will enjoy preview days on Thursday, July 16, and Friday, July 17. The museum will begin reopening on Thursdays through Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm and tickets will be available beginning Thursday, July 9 at: or by calling 978-542-1511. PEM will move to the full regular Tuesday through Sunday schedule when it is viable.

The health and safety of PEM’s staff and visitors is the highest priority. Timed tickets will ensure that occupancy levels remain low — a perk for museum goers who enjoy quiet galleries — while enhanced sanitation measures and environmental health protocols across the museum will make visitors feel confident and safe during their visit. Complete details may be found at:

“For more than 220 years, PEM has been offering experiences that ground us and propel us forward. During the pandemic, PEM has worked to be a beacon of light and inspiration for the community by sharing and encouraging creativity. Now it’s time to get back to what we do best: providing in-person encounters with art and culture that stir the imagination and spark important conversations,” said Brian Kennedy, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO. “After months of quarantine, stepping into PEM’s soaring, sunlit spaces, and communing with art and with friends, will remind you why you love museums and why they are so important to our culture right now.”

In addition to PEM’s main campus, the Phillips Library Reading Room, located at 306 Newburyport Turnpike in Rowley, MA, reopens to the public on Thursday, July 16. Environmental and public health protocols are in effect. To learn more and plan your visit, please visit:

What’s on View
PEM’s critically-acclaimed exhibition Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle has been extended through mid-August before it heads on national tour. Painted during the modern civil rights era, Lawrence’s 30 intimate panels interpret pivotal moments in the American Revolution and the early decades of the republic between 1770 and 1817 and, as he wrote, “depict the struggles of a people to create a nation and their attempt to build a democracy.”

Two fan-favorite installations, Charles Sandison: Figurehead 2.0 and Anila Quayyum Agha’s All the Flowers Are for Me, both envelop visitors in an immersive realm of light and shadow and provide opportunities for contemplation.

Visitors this summer can also experience PEM’s new wing with its suite of galleries devoted to the collection and its adjacent garden will take you on a journey around the world and across time. This includes PEM’s Maritime Art collection, which is the finest of its kind in the country, framing the sea as an enduring source of opportunity as well as peril, a force that inspires creativity and innovation, and encourages engagement with the wider world. PEM’s Asian Export Art collection, foremost in the world, explores cross-cultural exchange as a catalyst for creativity and celebrates the interplay of commerce and creative expression. PEM’s Fashion & Design gallery invites visitors to consider that we are designing creatures who continually manipulate, respond to, and mold our changing world.

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 Thursday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. 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 | | 617-259-6722