Art Shows

Current and Upcoming Art Shows

All shows are free and open to the public and on view in the Hunnewell Building at 125 Arborway, Boston. The Lecture Hall is often used for meetings and classes. Please call 617.384.5209 for exhibition availability, and refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours. See all of our tour and class listings.

The Spirit Books

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

May 4 — July 22, 2018
Hunnewell Building Visitor Center
Opening Reception, Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00pm
Artist Talk, Saturday, June 2, 3:00-4:00pm

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord - Spirit Books

Spirit Book #82: Soaring Serenity by Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord. Book of tsasho paper from Bhutan, brass and glass beads, and thread on a wood cradle and a base of binder’s board and paper, 2015.

Spirit Books reveal Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s connection between the inherent spirituality and mystery of nature with the long-standing tradition of books as testaments of faith and belief. She gathers twigs, branches, vines, and roots, then uses them to cradle her stitched, wordless books. Incorporating beads and seeds with handmade papers from around the world, she constructs sculptural altars; the supports of natural materials as integral to the art as the beautiful books they cradle. From a distance, these books do evoke sculptures; however, their essential “bookness” becomes apparent upon closer observation. Gaylord encourages “reading” the books as a contemplative experience, one that will take the viewer out of the everyday world. Learn more about her work and this exhibition from the Harvard Gazette, and on ARBlog (here and here).

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord is best known for her Spirit Books. Since she created her first one in 1992 and coined the name, the Spirit Books have been exhibited throughout the US, Canada, and in Korea. She has exhibited at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the University of Indiana Art Gallery, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and the Seungnam Book Fair in Seungnam, Korea. Spirit Books are in the book arts collections at Bowdoin College and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton county, and many private collections. They are also well-represented in print.

Note: For exhibition availability, refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours.

Impressions of Woody Plants: Disjunction, Two Artists, and the Arnold Arboretum

Copper Etchings by Bobbi Angell and Watercolor Paintings by Beverly Duncan

May 11 — July 22, 2018
Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall
Opening Reception, Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00pm
Workshop with the Artists, Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00pm

winter branches Beverly Duncan wc on paper 2015

Winter Branches by Beverly Duncan, watercolor on paper, 2015

The word disjunction, defined as the relationship between two distinct alternatives, can be applied to botanical artists Bobbi Angell and Beverly Duncan: their media–copper and watercolor, their plant focuses–exotic and native, their backgrounds–botany and art. In the end though, as in this Arnold Arboretum exhibition, it is all about the wonder of woody plants, and the artists’ approaches to creating images. Read more in Botanical Art and Artist News.

Bobbi Angell has been drawing plants since 1978, illustrating floras, monographs, and new species for botanists at The New York Botanical Garden, Harvard University, and Smithsonian Institution. Angell’s copper plate etchings reflect her interest in fine detail, allowing her a satisfying and natural extension of her compositional style. She is attracted to unusual, cultivated specimens due to her long history working with botanists and horticulturalists. Her subjects, all Asian natives, several of which were introduced into cultivation by the Arboretum, represent the remarkable history of plant collecting around the world. All her works in this show can be found in the collections of the Arboretum.

Beverly Duncan is an award-winning botanical artist, the first to receive Best in Show at the annual exhibition of the Horticultural Society in New York and the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her work is in corporate and private collections around the world. Duncan exhibited and received recognition at the 2014 royal Horticultural Exhibit in London. She teaches botanical drawing and painting classes, and has illustrated commissions for numerous books and magazines. She is drawn to the familiarity of native plants, translating the common and recognizable into intimate portraits in detailed watercolor paintings. Her sketches capture the various stages in the life of a native plant. For this exhibition, Duncan focused on paintings of seedlings, the delicate early life of a tree or shrub. All her subjects can also be found as mature trees on the grounds of the Arnold Arboretum.

Note: For exhibition availability, refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours.

Continuation: Seasons at the Arboretum

Photographs by Jim Harrison

July 27 — October 2, 2018
Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall
Opening Reception, Thursday, August 2, 5:00-7:00pm

Fringe Tree by Jim Harrison

Fringe Tree by Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison worked for the Arboretum in 2008, photographing the landscape through four full seasons. After that year, he returned, worked at his own pace, and expanded his perspective. For him, the Arboretum became a living, ever changing laboratory in which to explore the simple but fundamental act of observation.

Harrison photographed in rain and snow, at dawn and dusk, even working on days when the beauty of the Arboretum seemed less obvious, or in some cases all too obvious. In time, he also began to see plants in relation to their surroundings. The photographs in this exhibition will encourage viewers to think in new ways about both the place and the process.

Note: For exhibition availability, refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours.

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.”