Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum (est. 1992), originally the Peabody Museum of Salem and the Essex Institute , in Salem, Massachusetts is the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States, and holds one of the major collections of Asian art in the US; its total holdings include about 1.3 million pieces, as well as twenty-four historic buildings.

The museum's origins date to the founding in 1799 of the East India Marine Society by a group of Salem-based captains and supercargoes. Members of the Society were required by the society's charter to collect "natural and artificial curiosities" from beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. Due to the institution's age, the items they donated to the collections are significant for their rare combination of age and provenance. In 1992, the Peabody Museum of Salem merged with the Essex Institute (1822) to form the Peabody Essex Museum. In 2003, the Peabody Essex Museum opened a new wing designed by Moshe Safdie, more than doubling the gallery space to 250,000 square feet (23,000 m²); this allowed the display of many items from its extensive holdings, which had previously been unknown to the public due to lack of capability to show them. At this time, the museum also opened to the public the Yin Yu Tang House , an early 19th century Chinese house from Anhui Province that had been removed from its original village and reconstructed in Salem.

The museum presently contains significant collections of maritime art, including works by marine artist James Bard. The museum also has significant collections of:
  • American decorative art
  • Asian export art
  • Japanese art
  • Korean art
  • Chinese art
  • Native American art
  • Oceanic art
  • African art
  • Indian contemporary art
  • Phillips Library Collection: rare books, manuscripts & ephemera
  • Photography: a collection comprising more than a half million rare and vintage images
  • Architecture: 24 historic American structures and gardens; 5 buildings are National Historic Landmarks; 8 others are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Architecture in the Peabody Essex Museum
The museum owns 24 historic structures and gardens. Some are shown in the gallery below. The full set of buildings are: Daniel Bray House, Gilbert Chadwick House, Cotting-Smith Assembly House, Crowninshield-Bentley House, John Tucker Daland House, Derby-Beebe Summer House, East India Marine Hall, Gardner-Pingree House and Gardner-Pingree Carriage House, Lye-Tapley Shoe Shop, Dodge Wing of the Peabody Essex Museum, Asian Export Art Wing of the Peabody Essex Museum, Peirce-Nichols House, Samuel Pickman House, Plummer Hall, Quaker Meeting House, L. H. Rogers Building, Ropes Mansion, Andrew Safford House, Summer School Building, Vilate Young (Kinsman) House, and John Ward House.

Building Activity

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