- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsForthcoming ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: A Lecture on Martian History
- Rachel Perry: What Do You Really Want
- Charmaine Wheatley: Souvenirs
- Bharti Kher: Not All Who Wander Are Lost
- Jean-Michel Othoniel: Secret Flower Sculptures
- Nari Ward: Divination X
- Luisa Rabbia: Waterfall
- Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community
- 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
- Joan Bankemper: A Gardener's Diary
- Lee Mingwei: Living Room
- Josiah McElheny
- Abelardo Morell: Face to Face
- Mona Higuchi: Bamboo Echoes
- Juan Muñoz: Portrait of a Turkish Man Drawing
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By Year
- Lee Mingwei, <em>The Living Room Project</em>, 2000. Photo: Anita Kahn.
- Lee Mingwei, Host, <em>The Living Room Project</em>, 2000. Photo: Anita Kahn.
- Living Room host Magda Campos-Pons and Lee Mingwei, 2012. Photo: Lisa Abitbol.
- Linda Gretz, Host, <em>The Living Room Project</em>, 2000, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Photo: Anita Kahn.
Lee Mingwei: Living Room
FEBRUARY 18 – APRIL 30, 2000
Following Lee Mingwei’s 1999 residency, The Living Room was conceived as his response to Isabella Stewart Gardner’s love of entertaining, collecting, and her desire to foster intimate interactions with art. For the exhibition, Lee created a welcoming, domestic space in the special exhibition gallery, outfitting it with furnishings, plants, live birds, and refreshments for visitors. Lee’s intent was to give visitors the opportunity to participate in a process of exchange and hospitality, which he determined to be a vital part of life at Fenway Court during Mrs. Gardner’s lifetime.
Each day of the exhibition, different “hosts” brought personal objects to the Museum and welcomed visitors to spend time with them in The Living Room. For several days in February and March 2000, Lee acted as the host, bringing objects into The Living Room that meant something special to him. He invited visitors and staff to spend time in the room, relaxing and discussing the articles on display, sharing personal experiences, and musing on new and old aesthetics and other values reflected in the Museum. On the remaining days of the exhibition, Lee invited volunteers to participate as hosts of the project. These participants came from many walks of life—staff at the Museum, members of the governance board, past Artists-in-Residence, teachers and students—and all had a significant relationship with the Museum. Thirty-two individuals were chosen from a lottery system to bring in objects that carried significance for them. Over the course of two days, each host talked with visitors about the Museum and the objects they had chosen to share. The vast array of interests represented ranged from tutorials on flower arranging and ice fishing, to stories about historic events, to a cappella serenades. Hosts brought with them objects as varied as bones, shopping bags, games, textiles, pencils, CDs, and works of art, and—of course—their accompanying personal stories.
Since the opening of the Gardner Museum’s new wing in 2012, The Living Room has been revived as a long-term ongoing project, with new hosts present throughout the year in a visitor orientation space located on the first floor called the Living Room. During Museum hours when there is not a Living Room host, visitors are welcome to sit in the room and use the educational resources available to learn more about the history of the Gardner Museum and its contemporary exhibition program.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Gardner Museum produced a catalogue, Lee Mingwei: The Living Room, which delved into the philosophy behind the exhibition, highlighted several earlier projects by the artist, and included texts by Lewis Hyde and Jennifer Gross, former contemporary curator at the Gardner.