Peabody Essex Museum, Salem

#2 of 102 in Things to do in Salem
Must see · Art Museum · Museum
One of the oldest and largest art museums in the U.S., Peabody Essex Museum houses close to 2 million pieces. Originally founded in 1799, the museum now has 22 different buildings. Explore themed exhibits, including art pieces from Africa, Oceania, America, and an extensive collection of Asian art. Check the museum's schedule of events for information on the frequent temporary exhibits, family craft days, and music festivals. Use our Salem travel planner to add Peabody Essex Museum and other attractions to your Salem vacation plans.
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Peabody Essex Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,034 reviews
  • The architecture alone is one reason to visit this museum. The artifacts and exhibits were magnificent. It is a very in depth look at the complete history of Salem. It has a very old port history and....  more »
  • Finally the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 exhibit! I was so very excited to actually see the paperwork from the Trials, the warrants, etc. It is history, not a wonderful history to have, but history...  more »
  • Even though the daily Covid infection rate for MA exceeds SC’s, and the overall Covid death rate per 100,000 population for MA is nearly double that of SC (nice going, by the way, MA!), they refuse...  more »
  • Museum is in the smaller side so you can see everything before you get overly tired. The Chinese house is a real treasure; the most complete house I've seen. It was moved and reassembled and all the details are interact. Also play attention to their special exhibits, the shoe collection was fabulous. Also it's in Salem, a great place to visit!
  • This place was absolutely amazing! I would definitely recommend it as a full day trip. This art museum was mainly American and west Asian art (which I absolutely love) and had an adorable gift shop!
  • We had coupons for bogo so 6 each instead of the normal 12. Beautiful facility and great displays. We spent about 1.25 hours there and did not get to everything, I wish we had spent more time there and seen it all. If you enjoy art and history museums its worth it. Easy to walk to from other locations in Salem.
  • I'm not a big art person so therefore I didn't enjoy it as much as others. This museum doesn't have much to look at as you would think and some exhibits are small compared to others. It's cold throughout the museum and I was lucky I brought a sweater. Some art pieces are interesting and some things are interactive.
  • A great little New England museum in a lively setting. We visited this museum when we were in the area recently and were pleasantly surprised at how nice it is. The visit could have been much better. The worst con (and it's a big one) is the best total disregard to people with disabilities. 1. Parking. You must use the parking garage which is dark and dank and then navigate through an attached mall to get to the museum. I invite anyone that works there to put yourself in a wheel chair and roll over from the garage to the entrance. 2. There was a special exhibit that was behind doors. Big ones. It was very difficult to maneuver a wheelchair into the exhibit. People sitting right in front of the room saw we were having difficulty getting in and just looked away. Yes, this actually happened. In addition, there was some construction going on in part of the museum. To use the elevator, we had to go through part of this area. The toxicity of the air due to paint fumes or adhesives was pretty high. These areas need to be sectioned off so that disabled people, breathing impaired people and kids aren't exposed to that. A museum is an extension of the community and the people that visit need to feel the museum wants them to be there and is concerned with their ability to interact with the exhibits and the environment. Sadly, we felt that attention to visitors was lacking. It's not uncommon for there to be an awareness lack of people with disabilities, but it doesn't excuse the staff from assisting with help when they see visitors requiring it. People with disabilities are people too.

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