The Great Animal Orchestra FAQs

Please read over these frequently asked questions to make the most of your visit.

Why is there a wait to get into The Great Animal Orchestra: Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists?
The capacity of the gallery is 30 people and the entire experience is 98 minutes long. Visitors are welcome to stay for as long (or as little) as they like once inside the exhibition. At times, this may cause the entry wait times to be more than an hour. Unfortunately, on busier days, not all of our visitors will be able to enter the exhibition.

When is the least crowded time to visit the exhibition?
The best time to visit is right when the museum opens at 10 am, or anytime after 3 pm. On Fridays, PEM is open late until 7 pm and that makes a great time to visit!

How do I see the exhibition?
Once you are in the museum, head to the exhibition entrance on Level 3. If there’s a wait, you will be able to add your name and cell phone number to a waitlist. When it’s your turn, you’ll receive a text message. Please make your way back to the gallery swiftly as your spot can only be held for 10 minutes unless you text back.

Why is the exhibition so dark?
The gallery has low lighting, but the design includes a vestibule to allow your eyes time to adjust before entering into the main room. Please take a moment to let your eyes adjust to the environment. Once in the exhibition, you’ll experience continual movement of light on an immersive screen accompanied by an audio soundtrack.

Is there seating in the gallery?
There are a few options for seating and designated spaces for wheelchairs at the back wall next to the benches. You are also welcome to sit on the floor.

Is the experience worth the wait?
Yes! Critics and visitors alike have rave reviews for The Great Animal Orchestra. You can read the recent Boston Globe review HERE.

Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, The Great Animal Orchestra, 2016, Multimedia installation, 1 h 32. Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (acq. 2017). Guests in the gallery. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.