PlayTime at the Peabody Essex Museum


PlayTime at the Peabody Essex Museum is the first major thematic exhibition to survey the rapidly evolving role of play in contemporary art and culture. Nearly forty works by seventeen leading contemporary artists—including large-scale installations, sculpture, photographs, video and tactile interactives—examine how play catalyzes creative expression, enchants the ordinary, and helps us understand ourselves in new ways.

PlayTime features three tactile interactive works, including an immersive balloon room installation by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed and participatory One Minute Sculptures by internationally renowned artist Erwin Wurm which invite visitors to become part of the exhibition by striking and holding unexpected poses with everyday objects. Leading contemporary artists from around the globe are exhibited alongside several younger, emerging artists who make their New England debut with this exhibition. PlayTime artists include: Cory Arcangel, Mark Bradford, Nick Cave, Martin Creed, Lara Favaretto, Cao Fei, Brian Jungen, Teppei Kaneuji, Paul McCarthy, Rivane Neuenschwander, Pedro Reyes, Robin Rhode, Roman Signer, Gwen Smith, Angela Washko, Agustina Woodgate, and Erwin Wurm.

Launched in early fall 2017, jumpstarts the conversation and accompanies the exhibition. The digital publication explores the shifting role of play in the arts and culture with contributions by leading writers, thinkers, gamewrights, poets, and artists. Check in early and often to play along with us—discover new writing on games and society, hear the artists talk about what play means to them, see our curators in action, and learn how deeply and broadly play has permeated our culture.

Share your impressions with us on social media using #PEMplaytime

PlayTime is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum and made possible in part by the Nancy B. Tieken Memorial Fund and supporters of the Present Tense Initiative. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation provided generous support. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided valuable support.

Exhibit is on view through May 6, 2018.

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161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970