Asian export art made understandable through story-telling
The Peabody Museum’s Asian Export Art Wing conjures up images of ships from the Far East laden with delicate objects and exotic goods bound for the growing population of a new country. And the promise is met in the three-level, 27,000-square-foot wing that houses the Museum’s extensive collection of porcelain, furniture, lacquer ware, silver, paintings, and other decorative arts.
The challenge for Donovan/Green was to go beyond the simple display of objects to create an environment that integrates the collection with extensive visual and graphic descriptions of the fascinating story of Asian export art. This approach put the artifacts in historical context. The presentation of the objects is balanced, creating appropriately scaled, elegant settings while also providing an historical overview for appreciating the collection. Important considerations in this design approach were the educational programs connected to the collections as well as anticipated large number of visitors.