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Ongoing Exhibit (Until March 21, 2021)

Recruiting for Utopia: Print and the Imagination

drawing of a dragon in an old book

Recruiting for Utopia: Print and the Imagination considers the influence of printed matter on Utopian thought in 1840s New England. The exhibition has historical and contemporary sections that creatively observe the capacity of print and the schematic imagination to build community in the early nineteenth century and the twenty-first century. Works on view include Millerite banners that proclaim the coming apocalypse on a specific date in 1843, later Adventist banners with similar messages, a Shaker spirit drawing, pattern book, and Skeen Bible chart, and other nineteenth-century works on paper and objects from New England that foreground elements of design.

Expanding upon the historical materials shown in the Art Gallery, contemporary, serial prints in the form of booklets, broadsides, and zines by living artists displayed across the Museum campus, explore themes that resonate with the permanent collection. The artistic publications as assembled share the priorities of activism and community building. Celebrating the continued freedom of expression and speech so innate to American values, the exhibition will share diverse stories and ideas and often prompt readers to action. This contemporary exhibition was co-curated by Paige Johnston

Please note: dates are subject to change.

On August 12, Shana Dumont Garr sat down with colleagues from the Fitchburg Art Museum and Maria Molteni to discuss aspects of this exhibition and the sister exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum.

Art On View