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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Current and Past Art Shows

Laceleaf Japanese Maple, 2022, photograph copyright Vaughn Sills
photo of tree branches in a vase

Our art shows are offered in-person at the Hunnewell Building. The Hunnewell Building at 125 Arborway is open 9am–4pm daily. The Visitor Center and exhibition space are open every day from 10am–4pm, except when booked for other meetings or programs.

We are not currently accepting new proposals for indoor art shows, as the Arboretum is shifting focus to performance art and installations in the landscape. Artists who have already been offered an indoor show will hold their shows as planned.

Artists interested in submitting a proposal for an outdoor art installation should review the General Guidelines for Outdoor Art Exhibitions and then submit their proposal here.

Current Shows

The Many Moods of the Arboretum

A series by Fran Gardino

Feb 23 - Jun 09, 2024

The Many Moods of the Arboretum is a series of digital photographs taken across the Arboretum over the last 10 years. These images were captured in a sequence of still images and then stitched together into panoramas, showing the full breadth of the landscape better than a single square image ever could. This exhibition captures the beauty and uniqueness of Arboretum trees and landscapes through the cycling of days and seasons, further underlined by the "Little Planet" square-format images in which panoramas are curved back on themselves to create circular images that reflect the cycles of the earth itself.

A panorama of a grassy field with flowering trees in the background, curved back on itself to create a circular image.

Past Shows

pursuing reality: possibilities,, marsh kaleidoscope, intersections, still lives: plants of the arnold arboretum, close up and far away, artists redux/seen again: artists from the arnold arboretum’s website exhibitions, 2020-2022, intricate beauties: the lichen explorations of natalie andrew, the overstory by richard powers, handmade scroll by diane samuels, the art of the woodturner vi, tree ring histories: the quilts of anna von mertens, the nature of art/the art of nature,

  • Pursuing Reality: Possibilities,

    A series by Jo-Anne Green.

    Oct 20, 2023 - Feb 18, 2024

    Pursuing Reality: Possibilities, is a series of photocollages and digital prints about patterns and networks in nature, including trees, mycelia, rivers and streams, and the human brain. It utilizes images found on the world wide web, social networks, Katie Holten's Irish Tree Alphabet, and Jo-Anne’s own photographs, mostly taken at The Arnold Arboretum. It is an interconnected series produced by an interconnected community.Pursuing Reality: Possibilities, was a series of photocollages and digital prints about patterns and networks in nature, including trees, mycelia, rivers and streams, and the human brain. It utilized images found on the world wide web, social networks, Katie Holten's Irish Tree Alphabet, and Jo-Anne’s own photographs, mostly taken at The Arnold Arboretum. It was an interconnected series produced by an interconnected community.

    Collage with pictures of trees and hyphae
  • Marsh Kaleidoscope

    A painting series by Pamela Tarbell

    Jun 25 - Oct 08, 2023

    Marshes and wetlands are key to our entire ecosystem. They clean and filter water while providing habitat for numerous birds, amphibians, and insects. They are also visually exciting to walk through: their multiple layers of growth create patterns of reflecting leaves or bushes in every spot of water. Pamela Tarbell’s “Marsh Kaleidoscope” painting series brings these kaleidoscopic wonders to the Arboretum in the form of colorful abstract paintings that highlight the beauty and value of these life-protecting, carbon-storing champions.Marshes and wetlands are key to our entire ecosystem. They clean and filter water while providing habitat for numerous birds, amphibians, and insects. They are also visually exciting to walk through: their multiple layers of growth create patterns of reflecting leaves or bushes in every spot of water. Pamela Tarbell’s “Marsh Kaleidoscope” painting series brings these kaleidoscopic wonders to the Arboretum in the form of colorful abstract paintings that highlight the beauty and value of these life-protecting, carbon-storing champions.

  • Intersections

    Pairings of Botanical Art and Herbarium Vouchers from the Collections of the Arnold Arboretum

    Mar 10 - Sep 10, 2023

    The living collections of the Arnold Arboretum are complemented by supplementary collections that reside in the Hunnewell Building. Among these, the Horticultural Library collections include an exquisite collection of botanical prints, and the Herbarium of Cultivated Plants consists of approximately 132,000 "vouchers"—plant specimens that have been dried, pressed, and mounted on paper. This exhibition, featuring botanical art by Mark Catesby, and other botanical artists, paired with herbarium vouchers of both native and non-native plants, results in an insider's look at how these various collections intersect. View this show in the Hunnewell Visitor Center during open hours. The living collections of the Arnold Arboretum are complemented by supplementary collections that reside in the Hunnewell Building. Among these, the Horticultural Library collections include an exquisite collection of botanical prints, and the Herbarium of Cultivated Plants consists of approximately 132,000 "vouchers"—plant specimens that have been dried, pressed, and mounted on paper. This exhibition pairs botanical art by Mark Catesby and other botanical artists with herbarium vouchers of both native and non-native plants in the Arnold Arboretum living collection, resulting in an insider's look at how these various collections intersect.

    Voucher specimen of Stewartia malacodendron and botanical illustration of the plant by Mark Catesby
  • Still Lives: Plants of the Arnold Arboretum, Close Up and Far Away

    Photographs by Vaughn Sills

    Winter 2023 - Summer 2023

    Photographer Vaughn Sills brings her exquisite still lives of Arboretum plants—whether in flower or fruit, burnished fall foliage or shimmery bud—to our exhibition. The images are from the inside—photography in her studio and the outside—nature and wide expanses of earth. Combined, these seemingly disparate elements convey the importance of two ways of looking, close up and far away. Loebner Magnolia photograph by Vaughn Sills.Photographer Vaughn Sills brought her exquisite still lives of Arboretum plants—whether in flower or fruit, burnished fall foliage or shimmery bud—to our exhibition. Each stem is a wonder of composition and color—prominent, yet sublimely connected to a background of a distant and ethereal landscape. The images are Still Lives, from inside Sills' studio, and include the outside—her images of nature and wide expanses of earth. Combined, these seemingly disparate elements convey the importance of two ways of looking, close up and far away.

    Photo of tree branches with flowers in vase
  • Artists Redux/Seen Again: Artists from the Arnold Arboretum’s Website Exhibitions, 2020-2022

    Winter 2023

    Eleven artists, who exhibited during the pandemic in virtual shows, will each bring two representative pieces of their art to this in person show. From monotypes to watercolor, from oils to ink washes, there is so much to appreciate in this winter exhibition.Eleven artists, representing seven exhibitions, bring their work back in person to the Arnold Arboretum. After 24 months of virtual shows during the pandemic, they share their vision of nature and the Arboretum for all our visitors.  

    Art print dark and light leaves and mushroom spoort
  • Intricate Beauties: The Lichen Explorations of Natalie Andrew

    Fall 2022 - Winter 2023

    Ceramics provide a vehicle for Natalie Andrew's exploration into the sublime aesthetics inherent in lichen. An artist and a biologist, Andrew has been observing spontaneous flora of lichens in the landscape. The resulting works highlight the texture, depth, and form of lichen against the surface of ceramic.Ceramicist and biologist Natalie Andrew's work in the Visitor Center displayed the artist's colorful sense of design and pattern and her adhering care and interest in the natural world with lichen embellishments.

    Ceramic shapes with lichen embellishments
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers, Handmade Scroll by Diane Samuels

    Fall 2022 - Winter 2023

    Diane Samuels' incredible 20" x 160' scroll is a hand-transcription in micro-script of Richard Powers' The Overstory. The text side is made of strips of recycled drawings, prints, and papers from the artist's studio. The dimensions of the scroll correspond to a common vertical section of a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). The non-transcribed side is collaged with 99 bookplates. Each bookplate is made by a rubbing from a piece carved with the image of the leaf/needles identified with each of the nine characters in the book.Diane Samuels' brought her vibrant, textured scroll, The Overstory by Richard Powers, to the Arboretum as part of our Sesquicentennial exhibitions. One side of the scroll is a hand-transcription in micro-script of the book made of strips of recycled drawings, prints, and papers from the artist's studio. The non-transcribed side is collaged with 99 bookplates.

    Art, colorful scroll with various materials and time script
  • The Art of the Woodturner VI

    Fall of 2022-Fall of 2022

    For the sixth year, woodturners from throughout New England will exhibit their work at the Arboretum for a weekend of demonstrations and talks with the artisans. Using a lathe to form their pieces, woodturners create practical objects or “turn” to the purely aesthetic, resulting in a show that appeals to the eye and the touch. Visit the Hunnewell Visitor Center at 125 Arborway Friday, October 7, through Sunday, October 9, 10:00am - 4:00pm. (Image: "Cherry Root Bowl," Steve Wiseman)Woodturners from three New England clubs returned to the Arboretum for a weekend of craft and demonstrations in October. Using a lathe to form their pieces, woodturners created practical objects or “turned” to the purely aesthetic, resulting in a show that appealed to the eye and the touch.

    Wood bowl with natural edge
  • Tree Ring Histories: The Quilts of Anna Von Mertens

    Summer 2022 - Fall 2022

    Working with international dendrochronologists, Anna Von Mertens culled source images of tree ring cross-sections from studies connecting climate variability and periods of human instability. The events represented in her quilts correlate to periods of drought recorded by the tree rings. Fading thread colors mirror and highlight historical events.Working with international dendrochronologists, Anna Von Mertens culled source images of tree ring cross-sections from studies connecting climate variability and periods of human instability. The resulting art quilts are hand-stitched fabric, white thread on black backing, representing and connecting periods of drought with historical events.

    Art, hand stitched quilt
  • The Nature of Art/The Art of Nature

    Summer of 2022

    This unique show is an invitational of fourteen artists from New England Book Artists. They all use the framework of a book to create a personal vision of nature. Works of art fold, accordion, pop up, and display cut outs and tunnels, treating the traditional world of two dimensions as something permeable, and the traditional book world as a place of personal discovery and reverence.Fourteen artists from New England Book Artists bring their unique art to this show. Each artist takes a personal  look at nature, combining their own interpretation of what resonates with them with a singular book design.

    Art book in the form of a dragonfly