Friday, November 18, 2011

Unbound at PEM -- A Facinating New Exhibit

Very recently a new exhibit opened at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) -- an exhibit of the museum's own holding from the Phillips Library. It is a fascinating small (35-piece) exhibit, one that has items that will appeal to virtually everyone.

If you are into beautiful textiles, this book of applique samples is amazing.

The piece above, the first printed paper money ever issued in this country, and the only remaining piece of it, dating back to 1690, actually gave me goosebumps, thinking about how easily there could be NO remaining pieces of this rare and interesting money.

This map of the US, with information about the government, and about other statistics of the time is interesting on many counts.  You really need to see it in person.  Another piece that really caught my eye.

The Bible with the bullet -- this is a view of it you will not see at the museum -- the display has it turned to the inside.  A soldier during the Civil War had his life saved by the Bible in his pocket.  He wrote to President Lincoln about it, and the President sent him a replacement with the Presidential signature.  Now both pieces are on display at PEM.

The lovely detailed painting was done on the leaf of a tree.  Amazing that it still exists.

This (actually huge) four-panel image is a map of the world, drawn by a Japanese cartographer in the late 1600s when Japan was closed to all foreign interaction.  How did he get so close in his drawing is a mystery?

I hope you will make the time to come to see this wonderful collection of items.  There are many more things to see than this -- I just put in some of my favorites.  What will your favorites be?

Posted by Picasa


  1. I totally agree with you that this exhibit is definitely worth going to see as even though it may be small in size, it's very large in fascinating objects that people aren't going to get the chance to see anywhere else.

    Wonderful pictures!

  2. The maps in-particular appeal to me, well anything with an illustrative component gets my vote. Looks like a great exhibit.