- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsCurrent ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Sophie Calle: Last Seen
- Hamra Abbas: Wall Hanging I
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By 2012
- Susan Howe working in the Courtyard, 2012
- David Grubbs recording Susan Howe reading in the Gothic Room, 2012.
- Susan Howe and conservator Holly Salmon discuss a project in the Objects Conservation Lab.
- Susan Howe, Textile Conservation Lab, 2012
- Susan Howe looks at fabric with textile conservator Tess Fredette, in the Textile Conservation Lab, 2012.
Susan Howe was born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the author of several books of poems and two volumes of criticism. Her most recent poetry collections are The Midnight (2003), Kidnapped (2002), The Europe of Trusts (2002), Pierce-Arrow (1999), Frame Structures: Early Poems 1974-1979 (1996), The Nonconformist's Memorial (1993), The Europe of Trusts: Selected Poems (1990), and Singularities (1990). Her books of criticism are The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993), which was named an "International Book of the Year" by the Times Literary Supplement, and My Emily Dickinson (1985). Her work also has appeared in Anthology of American Poetry, edited by Cary Nelson (Oxford University Press, 1999); The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2003); and Poems for the Millennium, Volume 2, edited by Pierre Joris and Jerome Rotherberg (1998).
One of the preeminent poets of her generation, Howe is known for innovative verse that crosses genres and disciplines in its theoretical underpinnings and approach to history. Layered and allusive, her work draws on early American history and primary documents, weaving quotation and image into poems that often revise standard typography. Howe’s interest in the visual possibilities of language can be traced back to her initial interest in painting: Howe earned a degree from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts in 1961.
She has received two American Book Awards from the Before Columbus Foundation and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. In 1996, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and in the winter of 1998, she was a distinguished fellow at the Stanford Institute of the Humanities. In 2011, Howe received Yale University's Bollingen Prize in American Poetry.
She was a longtime professor of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and held the Samuel P. Capen Chair of Poetry and the Humanities. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000. She lives in Guilford, Connecticut.
During her residency at the Gardner, Susan Howe spent time working in the artists’ apartment and in archives, immersed in materials related to Isabella Stewart Gardner’s social circles. She read letters between Gardner and Okakura Kakuzo, Henry James, William James, John Gray, TS Eliot, and John Jay Chapman; looked at Kakuzo’s manuscripts, and at a copy of his musical play The White Fox; and read transcripts by John Jay Chapman, Charles Copeland, TS Eliot, John Gray, Henry Adams, and Alice James. She leafed through several of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s guest books that include whimsical drawings, quips, photos and music, as well as Gardner’s 1883 travel album from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Java, and a photo album of candid photos, including one of Henry James’ bedroom at the Palazzo Barbaro. Other excursions around the museum brought her to examine works in the Textile and Object Conservation Labs, listen to concerts in Calderwood Hall, and write in the Museum galleries.
On December 6, Howe hosted a Teacher Salon with the Museum’s Education Department, where she gave a special performance of The Whispered Rush, Telepathy of Archives in the Studio. This piece combined spoken word with images - fragments of manuscripts and poems by William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson, Gertrude stein, and Hart Crane and textiles from the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum. Teachers from Boston Latin School, Edward M. Kennedy School for Health Careers, and Tobin K-8 School attended along with Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran (who was also an artist-in-residence at the time), and several Museum staff members. The program was followed by a lively discussion.
April 3, 2014, 7 pm
A sound-work that germinated from new, unpublished text collages by Howe, blended with the resonant sounds of the piano and field recordings made in the Gardner Museum in 2012. Performed with musician/composer David Grubbs.