Don’t make the mistake of thinking only of the MFA or the ICA when you think of big museums in the greater Boston Metro area. The Peabody Essex Museum has a collection that might surprise you, as well as an impressive series of special exhibits. A few years back, they held what we thought was a world-class retrospective of Joseph Cornell’s assemblages and drawings. It was quite amazing to experience such a large and well executed show at an intimate venue in our own backyard.
Well, the PEM is currently showing “Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art.” And rather than just the standard fare that you might expect, this exhibit includes a variety of art, including modern media like photo & video.

Shapeshifting celebrates Native American ideas that have crossed time and space to be continuously refreshed with new concepts and expressions. Experience this vitality through sculpture, paintings, ceramics, textiles, photographs, videos and monumental installations drawn from collections in the United States, Canada and Europe. Rarely seen historic pieces, shown alongside some of the finest contemporary works, demonstrate the diversity and continuity of Native American art and culture from 200 B.C.E. to the present.

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