Peabody Essex Museum will unveil a new, 40,000-square-foot wing this fall

The museum will also introduce 13 new exhibitions and galleries by September.

Peabody Essex Museum
A rendering of the new wing at Peabody Essex Museum. –Peabody Essex Museum

This fall, Peabody Essex Museum visitors will get access to a new 40,000 square-foot wing, complete with a garden.

The museum will unveil the wing, built by Ennead Architects in New York, on Sept. 28. The expansion is part of the museum’s $650M+ Connect Campaign, of which $200 million is for expansion projects, $350 million is for endowment, and $100 million is for infrastructural improvements.

The new wing will feature a 5,000-square-foot garden with multiple water features, a light-filled atrium, new installations, and an entry and facilities for school and group tours, according to a museum statement. The garden was designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, which has locations in Charlottesville, Virginia and New York City.


Visitors can also expect 13 new exhibitions and galleries by September as part of a $16-million, museum-wide initiative to create new experiences of nearly all of the museum’s collections by 2022. Among the new offerings will be “Kimsooja: Archive of Mind,” in which visitors can assist in building a clay sculpture; “A Lasting Momento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min,” a photography collection portraying 19th-century China; and “The Pod,” a new gallery in the Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center that investigates our relationship with nature through interactive experiences and contemporary art installations.

“The September opening…marks an extremely exciting new phase in the museum’s evolution,” said Dan Monroe, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo director and CEO, in the statement. “The new art experiences we are creating extend the museum’s commitment to creativity, new ideas, and new perspectives.”

Earlier this month, the museum named a new director, Brian Kennedy, who is the current director of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Kennedy will join the museum in July.