Critic’s picks for art in New England

Florence Griswold Museum

Childe Hassam’s “The Ledges, October in Old Lyme’’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

By Sebastian Smee Globe Staff 

New England’s art museums, like its landscape, are often at their best in the fall, opening shows that often extend well into the new year. Here, state by state, is a selection of recently opened or soon-to-be-opened exhibitions at museums from New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont down to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.


ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM“Ornament and Illusion: Carlo Crivelli And Venice.” The first show in the United States dedicated to the great Renaissance painter. The exhibition reunites four of the six sections of Crivelli’s Porto San Giorgio Altarpiece, and gathers together 20 other Crivelli paintings from US and European collections. Oct. 22-Jan. 25. Boston. 617-566-1401,


MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS“Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer.” A sustained, scholarly, and visually resplendent examination of the way Dutch Golden Age painting reflects the full spectrum of Dutch society, from the poorest and lowest born to the richest and most regal. The exhibit includes work by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Ter Borch, and many others lent by major museums around the world. Through Jan. 18. Boston. 617-267-9300,

INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART“Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957.” A show about the many forms of creativity inspired by this small, experimental, and hugely influential liberal arts college in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Includes work by Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa, Anni and Josef Albers, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Robert Motherwell, Jacob Lawrence, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, and others. A rich program of performance events rounds out the show. Through Jan. 24. Boston. 617-478-3100,

ADDISON GALLERY OF AMERICAN ART “Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt.” An intimate look at the fond and fascinating artistic exchanges between these two hugely influential artists. Through Jan. 10. Andover. 978-749-4015,

DECORDOVA SCULPTURE PARK AND MUSEUM“Drawing Redefined: Roni Horn, Esther Kläs, Joelle Tuerlinckx, Richard Tuttle, and Jorinde Voigt.” Ideas of drawing are extended into sculpture, photography, and other media by this quintet of contemporary artists. Through March 20. Lincoln. 781-259-8355,

MASSACHUSETTS MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART“Jim Shaw: Entertaining Doubts.” A wide range of work by the superb Los Angeles-based artist, emphasizing his interest in fallen heroes, disgraced political figures, and broken economies. The show is centered on new work utilizing old theatrical backdrops, but includes much more. Through January. North Adams. 413-662-2111,

Rhode Island


RISD MUSEUM“Martin Boyce: When Now Is Night.” The first US survey of the work of Boyce, who won Britain’s Turner Prize in 2011 and represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Boyce’s work reveals a fascination with the aesthetic and social legacy of modernist design and its relationship to natural forms. Through Jan. 31. Providence . 401-454-6400,


FLORENCE GRISWOLD MUSEUM“The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape.” Celebrated depictions of Connecticut, from the 18th to the 20th centuries, borrowed from major museums around the state. Through Jan. 31. Old Lyme, Conn. 860-434-5542,

WADSWORTH ATHENEUM“Warhol and Mapplethorpe: Guise and Dolls.” An exploration of the rich relationship between the work of both artists, focusing on their New York milieu in the 1970s and ’80s. Through Jan. 24. Hartford. 860-278-2670,


SHELBURNE MUSEUM“Birds of a Feather: Shelburne Museum’s Decoy Collection.” Eighty decoys, representing 13 bird species, from this famous collection. Nov. 21-May 1. Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346,

HALL ART FOUNDATION“Peter Saul.” Forty paintings and works on paper made between 1959 and 2012 by the funky CalArts-trained artist, known for his rambunctious, cartoon-style, and politically charged imagery in gaudy colors. Through Nov. 29 (open weekends and Wednesday by appointment). Reading, Vt. 802-952-1056,


BOWDOIN COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART“Earth Matters: Land As Material and Metaphor in the Arts in Africa.” A selection of works, made by African artists between 1800 and the present, that grapple with the slave trade, colonialism, and mining, as filtered through the lens of the land. Through March 6. Brunswick, Maine. 207-725-3275.


PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART“You Can’t Get There From Here: the 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial.” An overview of Maine’s energetic contemporary art scene, selected by curator Alison Ferris. Through Jan. 3. Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148,

COLBY COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART“Whistler and the World: The Lunder Collection of James McNeill Whistler at the Colby College Museum of Art.” A show of many prints complemented by works in other media by the perennially popular native of Lowell. Through Jan. 10. Waterville, Maine. 207-859-5600,

New Hampshire

HOOD MUSEUM OF ART“Collecting and Sharing: Trevor Fairbrother, John. T. Kirk, and the Hood Museum of Art.” Fairbrother, a well-known curator, and Kirk, a scholar of early-American decorative arts, have donated many works to the museum. The show, drawn from their collection, is organized by theme. Through Dec. 6. Hanover, N.H. 603-646-2808,

Sebastian Smee can be reached at