Past Exhibit

Visionary New England

a view of the deCordova main gallery space

Visionary, mystical, and utopian practices are crucial to New England’s culture, history, and character. From the experimental agrarian communities founded in the 1840s, such as Brook Farm and Fruitlands, to the intersections of spiritualism and experimental psychology at the turn of the 20th century, New England has long developed alternative ways of nurturing community, personal growth, and societal reform. Related artists and writers frequently united their intimate connection to nature with a search for access to alternate dimensions or higher powers.

Grounded in this rich history, this exhibition features original commissions and existing artwork by twelve contemporary artists who are engaged with these themes. Artists include: Gayleen Aiken, Caleb Charland, Anna Craycroft, Angela Dufresne, Sam Durant, Erin Johnson, Josephine Halvorson, Paul Laffoley, Michael Madore, Candice Lin, Tourmaline, and Kim Weston. Bridging past and present, their work will be shown alongside earlier art and artifacts that speak to these enduring qualities of the region and their relevance today.

A fully-illustrated scholarly publication is available for purchase and co-distributed by the MIT Press

Organized by Sarah Montross, Senior Curator.

Major funding for the exhibition is provided by the Luce Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,  the National Endowment for the Arts, and Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.

Visit our unique hands on learning environments to engage with the exhibit in a whole new way.

Exhibition Events

Image Credit: Caleb Charland, A Color Spectrum with the Setting Sun, Bass Harbor, Maine (Color Separation with Three Black and White Paper Negatives), 2019, pigmented ink print, 32 x 40 inches. Collection of the artist.

Art On View