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PlayTime Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex Street
Salem, MA
February 10 - May 6, 2018
Recurring daily
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PlayTime is the first major thematic exhibition celebrating the role of play in contemporary art and culture. Forty works by twenty leading contemporary artists -- including large-scale installations, sculpture, photographs, video and tactile interatives -- examine how play catalyzes creative expression, enchants the ordinary, and helps us understand ourselves in new ways.

• Features three "tactile interactive" works, including a piece by Turner Prize Winner Martin Creed and One Minute Sculptures by internationally renowned artist Erwin Wurm.

• Leading contemporary artists such as Nick Cave, Haim Steinbach and Mark Bradford are featured alongside the New England debut of several emerging contemporary artists.
• Exhibition has a broad emotional range and is part of PEM's Present Tense Initiative, which seeks to be reflexive and responsive to the pressing issues of our contemporary reality.


Launched in fall 2017, the PlayTime digital platform -- -- jumpstarts a conversation about the exhibition's themes, exploring the shifting role of play in the arts and culture with contributions by celebrated writers, thinkers, gamewrights, poets and artists. Check in early and often to play along with us — discover new writing on games and society, hear the artists talk about what play means to them, see our curators in action and learn how deeply and broadly play has permeated our culture. Highlights include:

Rising star of crosswords David Steinberg with a custom game-inspired PlayTime puzzle