Fruitlands Farmhouse: Lisa McCarty, Fruitlands Farmhouse, archival pigment print from Color Negative, 2016
Lisa McCarty, Fruitlands Farmhouse, archival pigment print from Color Negative, 2016
Jonathan Gitelson, Star Chart, print, 2015
Jonathan Gitelson, Star Chart, print, 2015

Literary Spirit at Fruitlands Museum and the Old Manse

April 15 – November 5, 2017
Opening reception: Sunday, April 23 | 3 – 5 PM

Fruitlands Museum and the Old Manse have long inspired for writers of all kinds: sermon-writing reverends, diligent diarists, philosophers, faithful letter-writers, social theorists, and captivating masters of fiction. Inspired by the natural beauty of these special places, and encouraged by the friendships made and kept there, these writers sharpened their worldviews and developed their ideas through writing. The exhibition will cover approximately 100 years, from the 1770s when the Old Manse was inhabited by Rev. William Emerson, to A. Bronson Alcott and Louisa May Alcott’s death, just three days apart, in 1888. At the heart of the exhibition, and in the center of the gallery space, will be the books, journals, and letters that connected these people who lived and worked in Concord and Harvard, MA. This rich literary and social history will be enhanced by photos and an interactive installation by contemporary artists Lisa McCarty and Jonathan Gitelson, and interactive writing stations that reinforce the central themes of reading, writing, and the powerful influence of place on creativity.

Lookerse_install: Greg Lookerse, Installation view, Literary Soil, Fruitlands Museum, April 2017
Greg Lookerse, Installation view, Literary Soil, Fruitlands Museum, April 2017

Literary Soil

Greg Lookerse

April 15 – August 20, 2017
Opening reception: Sunday, April 23 | 3-5PM
Artist Talk: Art Gallery, Fruitlands Museum, Saturday, May 6, 2-3PM  
Artist Talk: Old Manse, Saturday June 3, 2-3PM

Greg Lookerse is the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse, and he will also work with The Old Manse in Concord, MA as part of the residency. Lookerse creates sculptural artwork that joins conceptual rigor with thorough craftsmanship. It is not enough for him to read texts by influential authors including St. Augustine, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Annie Dillard. Once read, the pages of his personal copies become visual art. In a process that often evolves through performative consideration, the ideas held within the pages become activated and made public in a way they would not if they remained on a book shelf. Lookerse cuts and folds pages of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays into an elaborate, mandala-like relief resembling the rose window of a Gothic cathedral. Pages of Thoreau’s Walden become a winding path on a gallery floor with a simply-hewn prayer bench at its center. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick becomes simple, blunt paintings as the artist systematically covers all but chapter headings with rows of white pigment.

Selections from Lookerse’s 2016-17 series “The Living Rose” and “Altar Stones” will create a fitting introduction to his work to our community. He will also create new art in response to the collections and the settings at Fruitlands Museum and The Old Manse, the results of which will be presented at each site later in 2017. Stay tuned for more information.

Artist Biography
Greg Lookerse is an interdisciplinary artist who received his MFA from Tufts University in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2014. Originally from California, he has a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts while exhibiting his work around the world. His recent solo exhibitions include Communing with Silence, a solo exhibition at the Piano Craft Gallery (2016), and Everything is God to Me and Everything is Dust to Me, at Kingston Gallery, Boston (2015).

Also On View

Landscape and Portrait paintings from our permanent collection.


Comforts, Cures & Distractions: Winter at Fruitlands Museum

November 29, 2016 – March 26, 2017

Find Your Park: National Parks in New England 

September 2, 2016 – March 19, 2017

Finding Metacom: Artists Duane Slick & Martin Smick in Dialogue with the Native American Collection

September 2 – November 6, 2016

Seeing Past Faces: Sculpture by Artist-in-Residence Carolyn Wirth

July 2 - August 21

Picturing Little Folk

July 2 - August 21

2016 Student Art Competition

April 15 - June 19

Hidden Treasures

January 3 - March 20, 2016

All Things Considered VIII ~ 2015

September 18 – November 29, 2015

Hidden Hudson

September 18 - November 29

LAYERS: A Pastel Exhibit by Eighty Dusty Fingers

July 12 - September 8, 2015

Gifts of the Saggar Fire

July 12 - September 8, 2015 

Central Massachusetts Convention and Visitors Bureau Blue Star Museums 1000 Museums American Alliance of Museums Nema New England Museum Association