Art Shows

Current and Upcoming Art Shows

Please note that all exhibitions are suspended due to the closure of the Hunnewell Building and Visitor Center as part of Harvard University’s COVID-19 response. See our current art exhibition online.

When our Visitor Center reopens, on site-exhibitions will resume and continue to be free and open to the public in the Hunnewell Building at 125 Arborway, Boston.

Inspired by Nature: Five Printmakers at the Arnold Arboretum

Bandes, Goldberg, Maisel, McGregor-Radin, Smalley

May-July 19, 2020

View highlights of “Inspired by Nature” as a special online exhibition

print of leaves and colors

Been to the Moon, monoprint and collage, Arlene Bandes

For five printmakers, sketching trips to the Arnold Arboretum solidified what they already had in common—the many ways that nature and plant life informs their art. Although their media covers a wide range of print techniques, and each artist has a unique approach to their art, all are attracted to the natural world, often trees. From white line woodcut to monotype, a keen sensibility of botanical life emerges that is portrayed through the eye and craft of these artists.

Printmakers Arlene Bandes, Lynda Goldberg, Mary Beth Maisel, Amy McGregor-Radin, and Gayle Smalley have been meeting monthly for more than ten years to discuss works in progress. They critique, support, and challenge each other to explore beyond the limits of their art. Ideas, sketches, and current prints are shared. There is a commonality that emerges in the art exhibited in this show of homing into the essence of nature.

Each artist is an active member of the Nature Printing Society, an international association of artists whose philosophy is based on respect for nature as demonstrated through the art of the print. Members have exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including Attleboro Art Museum, The Art Complex Museum (Duxbury), The Boston Athenaeum, and the Fuller Museum of Art (now Fuller Craft Museum), among others. Maisel and Goldberg contributed chapters to The Art of Printing from Nature, published by the Nature Printing Society. Goldberg and Bandes are instructors in the Greater Boston area. For more information on this exhibition or individual works, please contact See a post on ARBlog to learn how this show was affected by, and was adapted to COVID-19.


Urban Ponds: Essential Ecosystem for the Enjoyment and Discovery of Nature

Photography by Bruce Wilson

July 24 – October 11, 2020

Coming in late July, an online exhibition of Wilson’s photography

Visitors at Dawson Pond by Bruce Wilson

Visitors at Dawson Pond by Bruce Wilson.

In Shakespeare’s time, four elements were considered essential to life – earth, air, fire, water. In our own lifetime, we have discovered just how essential these elements are. The fourth, water, takes on the role of beauty, reflection, discovery, joy, even metaphor, in this exhibition by photographer, Bruce Wilson.

Urban Ponds: Essential Ecosystems for the Enjoyment and Discovery of Nature through October 11, brings the aesthetic and elemental properties of water, within the circumscribed arena of the city, to the Arnold Arboretum. Three ponds in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Faxon, Dawson, and Rehder, are alive with fauna and flora, beckoning visitors who relish a connection to nature and water in an urban community.

An integral component of the Arboretum’s ecosystem and landscape, these ponds (as well as in an urban pond in Newton)—named for former Arboretum staff—entice Wilson to bring his artistic eye to the discovery of shadows, reflections, and visitor enjoyment. His pond images complement the trees, emphasize the subtle or saturated colors of water, and capture interactions between visitors and scenes of rich pond life. Water is our source of life, its essence can calm and nurture each of us during this year when we look for nourishment of the body and spirit. Wilson has captured moments for all of us to share and savor.

While a relative newcomer to serious photography, Wilson’s images belie his short history of working with the original “raw material” in the initiating image, and then his post-production work to bring out interesting geometry, color, or the overlooked beauty of some part of nature. He takes his cue from Frederick Law Olmsted “The root of all my good work is an early respect for, regard and enjoyment of scenery.”

Arboretum Haiku and You

Spring 2020

Write a haiku and take a photo for an online exhibition coming soon.

child holding haiku: Some may see a stick- But I see a walking stick-It helps me climb high

Haiku entitled “Walking stick”: Some may see a stick, but I see a walking stick, it helps me climb high

Take your own haiku hike in the outdoors, write a haiku about what you experience, and send it to the Arnold Arboretum to be a part of a special online exhibit! Haiku, a form of Japanese poetry, lends itself beautifully to the observation and recording of nature. Many haikus have a set form of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last line—but there is much room to explore and experiment! Check our our Arboretum Haiku and You webpage for more information on writing haikus and guidelines for taking and submitting a photo of your haiku or your child’s haiku for our exhibit. Let’s share expressions about the natural world through photography and this wonderful and creative form of poetry.

Exhibition Proposals

Artists interested in mounting solo exhibits in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall should review the exhibition guidelines [pdf]. Proposals may be submitted to with the subject heading “Exhibition Proposal.”