fb-pixel Skip to main content
Fall Arts Preview

Picks for notable art exhibitions in New England this fall

“The Young Orphan” will be in the MFA’s William Merritt Chase exhibit. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

THE THRILL OF THE CHASE: THE WAGSTAFF COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM A selection from what was once one of the world’s finest private photography collections, which later became a cornerstone of the Getty’s celebrated photographic holdings. Wagstaff (1921-87) was a former curator of paintings and sculpture at the Wadsworth Atheneum, a friend and lover of Robert Mapplethorpe, and a champion of photography as an art form.Through Dec. 11. Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St., Hartford. 860-278-2670, www.thewadsworth.org

SARAH SZE: TIMEKEEPER A site-specific installation by the innovative sculptor who represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Sept. 11 through Dec. 11. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose


BEYOND WORDS: ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS IN BOSTON COLLECTIONS This coordinated, three-venue exhibition displays original medieval and Renaissance illustrations that appear in rare books held in local libraries and museums. The exhibition, which inaugurates the McMullen Museum of Art’s new home, is also at Harvard’s Houghton Library and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The most extensive selection is at the McMullen, with more than 180 exquisite works on display, many for the first time. Sept. 12 through Dec. 11. (At the Gardner from Sept. 22 through Jan. 16). McMullen Museum of Art, 2101 Commonwealth Ave. 617-552-8587, artmuseum@bc.edu

ROBERT FRANK: SIDEWAYS Photographs by the great Swiss-born photographer taken between 1947, when he moved to the United States, and 1961, when he held his first major museum show. Sept. 15 through Jan. 29. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 9400 College St., Brunswick, Maine. 207-725-3275. www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum

UNBOUND: TIM ROLLINS AND K.O.S. Works in a variety of media by the collective (short for Kids of Survival) formed by Rollins in the 1980s out of an art education program for at-risk youths. The works, some on loan, others from the museum’s collection, address race, literature, and much more. Sept. 16 through Dec. 31. Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org


UH-OH: FRANCES STARK 1991-2015 A career survey of the agile, humorous, and philosophically inclined artist, who makes collages, digital slideshows, video installations, and works involving social media. Sept. 17 through Jan. 29. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300. www.mfa.org

“Milliner’s heads,” 1820-70, at the Addison Gallery of American Art.

MAKING IT MODERN: THE FOLK ART COLLECTION OF ELIE AND VIOLA NADELMAN The first exhibition to examine the nature and influence of the folk art collected by the sculptor Elie Nadelman and his wife, Viola. Once displayed in a museum on their estate, it was subsequently acquired by the New York Historical Society. The show will include examples of Nadelman’s own popular and distinctive sculpture. Sept. 24 through Dec. 31. Addison Gallery of American Art, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4015, www.andover.edu/museums/addison

ANNI ALBERS: CONNECTIONS In 1984, Albers, a pioneering modernist textile designer, published nine silk screens which used motifs from key works in her long career — two from the Bauhaus years, two from the Black Mountain College years, three from her years at Yale University, and two from after the death of her husband, Josef Albers. A newly acquired portfolio of these silk screens is paired with relevant works from key moments in her career. Sept. 28 through Dec. 18. Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College, 106 Central St., Wellesley. 781-283-2051, www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum

MOUNT WASHINGTON: THE CROWN OF NEW ENGLAND The first exhibition devoted exclusively to depictions of Mount Washington. Includes prints, photographs, illustrated guidebooks, and paintings by such artists as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, John Frederick Kensett, Winslow Homer, and George Inness. Oct. 1 through Jan. 16. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester, N.H. 603-669-6144, www.currier.org


DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH: THE FEMALE FORM REVEALED French was one of the best-known sculptors in America from the later 19th century through the early 20th. This show focuses on his (often allegorical) female figures. Oct. 7 through Feb. 19. Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St. 617-227-0270, www.bostonathenaeum.org

WILLIAM MERRITT CHASE Paintings and works on paper by one of the most celebrated American painters of the turn of the last century. Oct. 9 through Jan. 16. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300. www.mfa.org

EDGAR ARCENEAUX: WRITTEN IN SMOKE AND FIRE The Los Angeles-based artist uses historical records, sculptural objects, and fictional texts to complicate received ideas about truth, politics, and race. Oct. 14 through Jan. 8. MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge. 617-253-4680. listart.mit.edu/

NICK CAVE: UNTIL A massive installation — the largest yet by the artist previously celebrated for his “Soundsuits” — made up of thousands of found objects and millions of beads. The installation, in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s largest gallery, will be in place for one year. Opens Oct. 15. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-662-2111, www.massmoca.org

DORIS SALCEDO: THE MATERIALITY OF MOURNING Recent sculptures by the Colombian artist acclaimed for her moving evocations of the trauma and loss of war and political violence. Includes the recently acquired “A Flor de Piel,” a room-size tapestry of thousands of hand-sewn rose petals. Nov. 4 through April 9. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-9400, www.harvardartmuseums.org


“Shoes: Pleasure and Pain” is coming to Peabody Essex Museum.Kathy Tarantola

SHOES: PLEASURE AND PAIN A look at the rich global history of footwear. Featuring 300 pairs, this show, which includes historical examples as well as the latest brands and technologies, was organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Nov. 19 through March 12. Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem. 978-745-9500. www.pem.org