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PEM/PM: Release The Beest to Kick Off Theo Jansen Strandbeest Exhibition

Theo Jansen at the Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.

Theo Jansen at the Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.

SALEM — The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) will be open extra late for its monthly evening party series on Thurs. September 17, 2015. PEM/PM: Release the Beest will officially launch the  Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen following a immensely popular pop-up tour previewing the highly anticipated exhibition.

The exhibition, organized by PEM and the first of its kind to tour the U.S., celebrates Theo Jansen’s kinetic, wind-powered Strandbeests (beach animals), which have been developed along the Dutch seacoast for the last 25 years. Enjoy one of the first public opportunities to experience the Strandbeests at the museum, meet the artist and explore Jansen’s ideas through action, motion, demonstration and participation. 

PEM/PM: Release the Beest allows visitors to explore the many dimensions of Jansen’s beach animals throughout the museum. Hands-on experiences include building your own beest and then naming it with a Latin-based name generator and creating your own battery-operated fan to race a mini Strandbeest in the Maker Lounge. Join Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet and Jansen for a lively discussion on the similarities found in Jansen’s Strandbeests and the fine art of watchmaking. Seats are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.  

The museum stays open an extra two hours until 11PM, so you can stay in motion at a silent disco in the Wheatland Gallery or dance the night away to DJ Noel and Boston-based post-rock band I/O in the Atrium. To celebrate Jansen’s homeland, sample Dutch beers and specialty seafood items including species of fish, shellfish and seaweed that are harvested with minimal environmental impact.

Please note that access to the Strandbeest exhibition begins at 7:30PM. The museum anticipates a crowd and you might experience a wait to get into the gallery.

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When? Thurs. September 17, 2015 from 6PM to 11PM; Strandbeest exhibition to begin at 7:30PM. Anticipate crowds and possible delays entering the gallery.

Where? The Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA

Cost? Members and Salem residents (with ID) free; Nonmembers $10 at the door; There will be a cash bar and a special small plates menu from the Hawthorne Hotel

For more information about the Peabody Essex Museum, visit www.pem.org. Visit their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud accounts for announcements, updates, photos and more.

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Theo Jansen (2010), Scheveningen beach, The Netherlands. Photo by Lena Herzog.

Theo Jansen (2010), Scheveningen beach, The Netherlands. Photo by Lena Herzog.

The artist first came to prominence in 1980 when he flew a “UFO” across the skies of Delft, Holland. For the past 20 years Jansen has been creating and exhibiting his dramatic Strandbeests. He has appeared on multiple TED Talks, been the subject of New Yorker and The New York Times profiles and shown his work in Asia, Europe and now the United States.

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Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen is the first major American exhibition of Theo Jansen’s famed kinetic sculptures. The exhibition — on view at PEM from September 19, 2015 through January 3, 2016  — celebrates the thrill of the Strandbeests’ unique locomotion as well as the processes that have driven their evolutionary development on the Dutch seacoast. The kinetic sculptures are accompanied by artist sketches, facilitated demonstrations of the creatures’ complex ambulatory systems and a hall of “fossils”. The exhibition features photography by Lena Herzog. Strandbeest travels to the Chicago Cultural Center and San Francisco’s Exploratorium. For more information, visit pem.org/strandbeest. Join the online conversation using #Strandbeest.

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Audemars Piguet is the national sponsor for Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen. Mondriaan Fund provided generous support for the exhibition. The AMG Foundation and Eaton Vance Management sponsored the exhibition. The Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York and Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation also provided support. Strandbeest is made possible in part by supporters of PEM’s Present Tense initiative: Terry and Dick Albright, Dick and Deborah Carlson, Mr. Alfred D. Chandler III and The Reverend Susan Esco Chandler, and Fay Chandler. The East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum also provided support.

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PEM LogoThe Peabody Essex Museum is one of the oldest and fastest growing museums in North America. At its heart is a mission to transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections and the vital importance of creative expression. Founded in 1799, the museum’s collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time — including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, as well as Native American, Oceanic and African art.

PEM’s campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities, performance spaces and historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10AM to 5PM and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission varies with adults for $18, seniors for $15, and students for $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang is $5. Members, youth 17 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

For more information about the Peabody Essex Museum, visit www.pem.org. Visit their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud accounts for announcements, updates, photos and more.

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