Witchcraft Past and Present at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem

Authors

  • Helen A. Berger Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.22069

Keywords:

Salem, witch trials, Wiccans, Witches, museums, heritage, history tourism

Abstract

“Reckoning and Reclaiming,” an exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, located in the center of Salem, Massachusetts, ran from September 2021 through March 2022, bringing together materials from the Salem witch trials of 1692 with Frances F. Denny’s photographs of contemporary Witches and a video of Alexander McQueen’s’ haute couture fashion show that he claimed was inspired by the trials. The mix of old and new witchcraft was visually jolting. Although the new materials provided some relief from the main part of the show that documents the horror of the state supported terror that was the trials, the mixing and matching of the two did neither full service. It further-more served as its own form of commercialization of witchcraft; something that in the past that the museum has avoided.

Author Biography

Helen A. Berger, Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University

Helen A. Berger is the author or co-author of four university press books on contemporary Pagans and editor of another.

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Published

2022-04-06

How to Cite

Berger, H. A. . (2022). Witchcraft Past and Present at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Pomegranate, 23(1-2), 186–202. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.22069