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As long as mankind has existed, we have always looked up to the moon as a source of inspiration, knowledge, and mystery. The moon’s pull goes beyond the tides: it’s our collective night light, guiding the way through the cosmos. On view now at Salem’s Peabody Essex museum, “Lunar Attraction” highlights the history of human fascination with the moon with over 60 collected artifacts. According to the museum, “As the largest and brightest object in the night sky, the moon has long inspired curiosity and respect. Since ancient times, artists have created their own representations to celebrate and explain the seemingly magical workings of Earth’s closest celestial body. Contemporary artists use the moon as both a source of inspiration and investigation.” Items on view include both contemporary and historical offerings, from an Edo Japanese hand warmer that doubles as a tool for moon myth and a restored version of the 1902 lunar classic A Trip to the Moon, to contemporary sculpture and collage works by artists like Greg Mort and Beth Hoeckel.


PEM Art & Nature Center Director Janey Winchell told Hyperallergic that “So few people seem to pay much attention to the moon, despite its role in our planet’s daily rhythms, human history, and as an enduring muse for artists and musicians…I wanted to put the moon on stage for a bit, so people might experience Earth’s constant companion from a new vantage point, which artists do so well.” The exhibition also features interactive elements, like tide tables and lunar cycle charts.


“Lunar Attraction” is on view through September 4th, 2017. All images via Peabody Essex Musuem. 

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