at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
DeCordova’s emphasis upon modern and contemporary art fueled its rapid popularity during the 1950s and 1960s, but by the 1980s, the Museum faced competition from a growing number of local museums, universities, and private galleries all of which shared a similar artistic mission. With the arrival of director Paul Master-Karnik in 1982, deCordova initiated a series of curatorial programs to further strengthen its commitment to New England’s contemporary artists. Master-Karnik introduced the deCordova Annual Exhibition, formerly Artist/Visions, which featured works by emerging New England artists and provided an annual snapshot of regional talent.
Following the appointment of director Dennis Kois in 2008, the focus of the institution shifted to sculpture; in order to emphasize its focus the Museum officially changed its name in 2009 from deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park to deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. In an effort to exhibit leading sculptors, deCordova broadened its curatorial scope to include works from artists nationally and internationally renowned. In March 2010 deCordova installed its first international acquisition, Antony Gormley’s Reflection II. The sculpture, situated on either side of the Museum’s front lobby glass wall, represents deCordova’s commitment to exhibiting sculpture inside and outside the Museum. Chakaia Booker: In and Out on view during the summer of 2010 was first in a planned series of solo exhibitions of sculpture in the Museum’s galleries and outdoor spaces.
To continue the institution’s support for local, national, and international emerging artists, Kois also established PLATFORM, a series of one-person commissioned projects by early- to mid-career artists that engage with deCordova’s unique landscape. In 2010 the deCordova Biennial exhibition replaced the Annual Exhibition series to expand the curatorial voice, allowing for an advisory board and co-curator opportunities. Now occurring every other year, the deCordova Biennial features New England’s leading emerging to mid-career artists, emphasizing the quality and vitality of the art created in this region.
Download a PDF version of our Exhibitions and when they were on view in the Museum from 1950 to 2011.
Exhibitions and Events: 1950-2020
deCordova's mission is to inspire, educate, and delight with contemporary art from...