Danforth Art exhibit explores themes of domesticity

“What She Put In” by Leslie Graff is being shown at Danforth Art.
“What She Put In” by Leslie Graff is being shown at Danforth Art.handout

GIMME SHELTER Homes — whether large or small, permanent or transient — are a theme that touch nearly everyone's life. Having an interior space for shelter, seclusion, and the selected company of friends or family has been a reality of some people's lives and a desperate desire for others, stretching back centuries if not longer.

And a personal abiding interest in this theme is what motivated Danforth Art curator Jessica Roscio to organize the Framingham museum's current exhibition. Called "The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior," it examines domestic interiors of the Victorian era and contemporary times through the context of social, cultural, and artistic history.


In putting together the exhibition, Roscio says she "looked at themes of interiors, domestic space, objects, and how they all relate to family lives and related issues. How we organize our personal spaces and domestic interiors connects to what interior space means to us on a personal level as well."

In the 19th-century Victorian home, Roscio points out, meticulously appointed formal spaces such as parlors displayed the homeowner's most treasured valuables: books, works of art, collectibles. But the family's private spaces held secrets of their own, also revealed through their appearances.

As well as showcasing works that depict objects from the past, the exhibit includes the work of five contemporary artists, bridging the connection between the domesticity of earlier eras and present, Roscio said.

The exhibition will remain open through the end of February. Special programming related to the domestic theme includes a series of artist and curator talks as well as a Parlor Games Weekend Jan. 23-24, introducing visitors of all ages to the kinds of diversions — Tiddly Winks, Old Maid, charades — that kept families entertained prior to TV and computer games. Museum admission is $11 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students, and free for members and children under 17. For more information on hours, events, and exhibits, call 508-620-0050 or go to www.danforthart.org. Danforth Art is located at 123 Union Ave., Framingham.


BIG MATTRESS REVISITED On Wednesday, Dec. 23, the Regent Theatre presents a talk by Boston radio legend Charles Laquidara, whose morning show "The Big Mattress" debuted in 1972 and ran for nearly 30 years. Inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009, Laquidara now hosts a radio show from his home in Hawaii. Laquidara is one of the DJs featured in the documentary "I Am What I Play," a film about the heyday of rock radio, which will be screened in conjunction with his talk. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 6:30. The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford St., Arlington. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 for same-day sales. For tickets and more information, call 781-646-4849 or go to www.regenttheatre.com.

HOLIDAY JAZZ Jazz at the Arsenal presents "A Jazzy Christmas," a holiday-themed concert by The John Baboian Quartet, on Monday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Guitarist/composer John Baboian, artistic director for Jazz at the Arsenal and faculty member at Berklee College of Music, brings three of his Berklee colleagues along for this seasonal program: Daniel Ian Smith on woodwinds, Bruce Gertz on double bass, and Larry Finn on drums, presenting unique compositions and arrangements of standard holiday fare. A free pre-show holiday reception begins at 6:30 p.m. The Arsenal Center for the Arts is located at 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Tickets are $20, $18 for members, and $15 for students. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 617-923-8487 or go to www.arsenalarts.org.


WHEN SCULPTORS SKETCH "The Sculptor's Eye: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs from the Collection," on exhibit now through March 20 at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, shows what happens with sculptors turn their attention from the three-dimensional world to paper. Works by more than 30 sculptors make up this exhibition of drawings and photographs intended to reveal the connections that artists make between two- and three-dimensional creative processes and how working in both helps to expand their artistic vision. The deCordova Museum is located at 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. For more information, call 781-259-8355 or go to www.decordova.org.

ALMOST MINIATURES Francesca Anderson Fine Art, located at 56 Adams St., Lexington, presents its 31st Annual Almost Miniatures Show now through Jan. 16. Forty artists are exhibiting their small paintings and prints on two floors totaling 150 works of art, including pastels of fruit by Jeanne Smith of Sudbury, prints by Barbara Lucas of Lexington, paintings of the sea and Maine coastline by Carlisle's Maris Platais, and watercolors by Carlina Valenti of New York. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed Dec 23. through Jan. 1. For more information, go to FAFineArt.com or call 781-862-0660.


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