The adjective audacious derives from the Latin audacia and its definitions include: daring, bold, venturesome, and courageous.
It seemed like an unusual word choice to describe a museum exhibit. However, in this context, the focus is all about the end result — wood sculptures.
Recently, we took a road trip to Salem, MA, to see a special exhibit, Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, MA. The PEM, as its most commonly called, is considered one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the U.S.
The exhibit focuses largely, but not exclusively, on the private collection of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen, a Massachusetts couple, who have spent years collecting contemporary wood art and have assembled one of the most extensive and impressive collections in the world.
Grenville, was especially interested in this exhibit since he has done both hand carving and wood turnings. We were both awed by the beauty of these contemporary wood sculptures.
The sculptures include common and exotic woods such as quilted maple, ponderosa pine, blue mahoe, European boxwood, pearwood, locust, coconut palm, and buckeye burl. Many of the works were fashioned from downed or damaged trees; others include materials such as metals and stone for the completed piece.
The exhibition features the work of more than 75 artists and coincides with the couple's donation of 47 pieces of contemporary word art to PEM.
The couple's collection is international in its scope and reflects over 20 years of travel.
The exhibit includes 105 pieces created using a variety of tools. Many of which are beautifully colorful as shown in these works.The collection has been exhibited in other museums throughout the U.S. — The Museum of Modern Art & Design in NYC, Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama, and three Michigan museums: University of Michigan Museum of Art, Saginaw Museum of Art, and the Detroit Museum of Art.
Audacious runs until June 21 and coincides with the couple's donation of 47 pieces of contemporary word art to PEM.
If you happen to be anywhere in the Salem, MA, area within the next 3 months, it's definitely worth a stop at the PEM. We also saw some of the museum's other exhibits; details will be included in a future post.