Coming Soon

In the Company of Artists

25 Years of Artists-in-Residence

October 17, 2019 - January 20, 2020
Hostetter Gallery

Since its inception, the Gardner Museum has been a haven for artists of all disciplines. In her time, Isabella Stewart Gardner nurtured and supported many creative minds—inviting artists to activate the galleries, encouraging them to paint, dance, play music, and read poetry within the Museum walls.

This fall, we're celebrating the living legacy of artists at the Museum with our exhibition In the Company of Artists: 25 Years of Artists-in-Residence, featuring Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse. Artists will also activate spaces throughout the Museum and the Historic Palace with participatory artworks and performances, including Sonic Blossom by Lee Mingwei, live portrait drawing with Charmaine Wheatley, storytelling with Gcina Mhlophe, and a three-day film festival.

Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom

October 16–December 1, 2019

During Museum hours, Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom (2013) will bring opera to the Gardner Museum in the form of a spontaneous gift. Donning an elaborate robe, a vocal soloist will select a visitor in the galleries at random, approaching them with the simple question: "May I give you the gift of song?" If the offer is accepted, they will be guided to a specially designed chair and given a personal performance of one of five lieder (art songs) by Franz Schubert.

Sonic Blossom, 2013/2015, Ongoing participatory performance installation with chair, music stand, costume, and spontaneous song, installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. Photo: Anita Kan.
Sonic Blossom, 2013/2015, Ongoing participatory performance installation with chair, music stand, costume, and spontaneous song, installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. Photo: Anita Kan.

Image at top: Su-Mei Tse, Bleeding Tools (2009), photo by Jean-Lou Majerus.

In the Company of Artists has been generously supported by Tom and Lisa Blumenthal and William C. and Joyce K. Fletcher. The Artist-in-Residence program is directed by Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.