Monday, January 6, 2014

ArtSmart Roundtable: 5 2014 Shows Not to Be Missed in Boston

Happy 2014!

This year’s first ArtSmart post is about art exhibitions, shows, or pieces to see in 2014. Since I’ll be tethered the the Greater Boston area travel-wise for most of the year (though Baby Art Nerd may make some road trips later in the year), I decided to highlight shows in Boston. We’ve got a lot of fantastic museums and exhibition spaces, the momentum to bring more public art to the city, and a new mayor who will hopefully continue to champion the arts.

If there is one thing I’m most excited about experiencing with Baby Art Nerd, it’s taking him or her to museums. I’ll be using my New England Museum Association membership to it’s full advantage with lots of trips to area museums.

In no particular order, here are 5 upcoming shows that I’m looking forward to seeing this year.

William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time

At the ICA Boston February 5 – May 14, 2014.

The ICA seems to be on a roll with artists interested in exploring our notion of time. Josiah McElhenny‘s exhibition 2 years ago also looked at time, as a circular force rather than linear one. And really, I always am fascinated by science-y themes in contemporary art. With all the science and tech people in Boston, I’m sure this show will be well attended.

Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection

At the Museum of Fine Arts Boston April 6 – July 27, 2014.

Going from multimedia conceptual art to handmade quilts. 60 American quilts will be featured in this exhibition with a particular focus on ones that are inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Op Art. I enjoy AbEx art, as well as textiles, but I’m also excited about this show because nearly all the works are made by women. At a standard AbEx show, you *might* get a Helen Frakenthaler piece but usually the show is dominated by male artists.

Boston Loves Impressionism

February 14 – May 26, 2014.

Another MFA exhibition. Now, I’m generally not the biggest fan of Impressionism (I appreciate that they led to more modern art, but it just doesn’t move me.), but I’m intrigued by the concept behind this particular show. From today (January 6) through January 29th, the public is voting on the pieces that will be in the exhibition. So it’s a crowdsourced exhibition of a generally popular movement that always brings traffic in. It will be interesting to see what the public wants to see versus a curator’s choices. Coming from a collections background, it should be interesting to see how the MFA pulls everything together in 2 weeks. One would imagine that they’ll create labels during the final round, but that’s still A LOT of work to do behind the scenes in a short time. I also hope they’ll indicate which pieces were the most popular. You can be sure that I’ll vote for the most obscure pieces.

California Design

March 29 – July 6, 2014 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

I love mid-century modern design. But this show will highlight only California designers of the movement rather than the global big names. Hyper-specific collections speak to me in a way that’s more engaging because you can see how artists were influenced by each other. Plus I just want to lust after the Eames pieces. The PEM has a GINORMOUS endowment which has given them a lot of freedom to create really interesting shows and collaborations (this show is from LACMA).

Opening of New Harvard Art Museums

Okay, so this technically isn’t an exhibition, but the Harvard Art Museums used to be spread out in three buildings in Cambridge. The new museum addition is designed by Renzo Piano, and I have a bit of a design crush on him ever since I interned at the High Museum in Atlanta in 2005. The opening is slated for Fall 2014 and will unite the collections in a single building. Plus my cousin works for a Harvard sustainability office and might be able to get me an early tour. Score! I love Piano’s use of light and ability to create spaces that give art room to breathe. If I make only one of these 5, it will be the opening of the Harvard Art Museum.

What is ArtSmart?  A couple fellow travel bloggers with an interest in art and I decided to do a roundtable series focused on making our readers “art smart”, e.g. understanding why certain works of art are famous and worth the visit while traveling.  At the end of this post are links to the other ArtSmart posts by participating bloggers.  Interested in joining the Roundtable?  Check out our Facebook page or email me.

This Month’s Fellow ArtSmart Roundtable Articles:

Alexandra of ArtTrav: What art to see in Florence in 2014

Lesley of CultureTripper: Reopening of the Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Christina of Daydream Tourist: Threatened Venice

Ashley of No Onions Extra Pickles: 2014 Art Worth Traveling for in the USA

Jenna of This Is My Happiness: Art Exhibitions to Catch in 2014

Murissa of The Wanderfull Traveler: Top 5 Museum Visits in 2014: From Vancouver to Venice

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11 Responses to “ArtSmart Roundtable: 5 2014 Shows Not to Be Missed in Boston”

  1. 1

    ArtSmart Roundtable: 2014 Art Worth Traveling for in the USA » No Onions Extra Pickles — January 6, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

    […] Erin of A Sense of Place:  Five 2014 Shows Not to be Missed in Boston […]

  2. 2

    What art to see in Florence in 2014 | — January 6, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    […] Erin – 5 2014 Shows Not to Be Missed in Boston […]

  3. 3

    Ashley — January 6, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

    Ooo, I’m interested to see how that Impressionism exhibit turns out! There’s basically one Impressionism exhibit a year here in SF (there’s one this summer from the National Gallery of Art), so while I do enjoy that period, I feel completely over expose. I don’t get as excited as I used to.

    I saw an Amish quilts exhibit several years ago, and it was FANTASTIC! My attitude towards quilts totally changed after that. Would be interested to hear what you think about the Quilts and Color exhibit.

    • ehalvey replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

      For Impressionism, I feel like ever waterlily and ballerina start to look the same after seeing them so often.

      Back at the High, they had the Quilts of Gee’s Bend, a rural part of southern America, where most of the quilters were African American women. Each piece told a story from the scraps to the stitches. Textiles always grab me in a way that’s different from other artworks because they seem more personal.

  4. 4

    Christina — January 7, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

    I can’t believe the Harvard Art Museums is finally done! It was under construction the whole 4 years I was in Cambridge 😛 (But the highlight collection was good so at least they made an effort to put something on display.) I really hope you get an early insider’s tour or can at least attend the opening!

    I also like American folk art and crafts so the quilts exhibition looks interesting. The ICA “time” exhibit should be pretty cool too. Plenty for you to drag Baby Art Nerd too!

    • ehalvey replied: — January 8th, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

      Out of all of them, the Harvard reopening might be the easiest to do without waddling or a tiny baby so I really hope to see it.

  5. 5

    Lesley Peterson — January 11, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

    A wonderful year in the making, Erin! Congratulations again. What a stellar list of exhibitions. I’d especially love to catch the California Design show. I have so many happy memories of wandering galleries & museums here in Toronto with my son when he was small. We would go on free nights when it would be half empty. I couldn’t run as fast as Mario could, though, so we were velcro’d together at the wrist. He’d hike through the halls for what seemed like miles, swaggering along as if he were out by himself. And you know what? He remembers those visits, and much of the art. It’s amazing what catches a child’s eye. Literally a new (lower) perspective!

    • ehalvey replied: — January 14th, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

      Awwww! So sweet!

      I remember my visits to the natural history, archaeology, and art museums in Pittsburgh as a kid as well as flipping through my mom’s art history book. They were always so fun.

  6. 6

    Pal — January 16, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

    It’s always great seeing a selection of what’s taking place in Boston. Even though it’s many years now I lived there it always will feel a bit like home. Curious about The Refusal of Time, sounds great. But what really caught my attention is the new Harvard Art Museum, it all sounds very promising, so definitely know where to go if the plans to come to Boston in the summer will actually happen… Actually, just today I was researching the art scene in Oslo and one of the best museums there (Astrup Fearnley Museum) is also designed by Renzo Piani – and it’s surely impressive.

    Nice getting to know your blog by the way 🙂

    • ehalvey replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

      I’m very excited about the Harvard Art Museum, so look for a post next fall about it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. 7

    A Sense of Place » Quilts and Color in Boston — April 30, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

    […] exhibit was one of the 5 I wanted to catch this year in January’s ArtSmart. I also swung by the Boston Loves Impressionism and Think Pink exhibits, but this one was […]

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