Boston Home

Spring Arts Events in Boston: Design Week, Moby Dick & More

Where to go and what to see for your spring arts fix.

Tiara purchased with funds donated by Victoria and Jessica Croll and Christina Croll failing in honor of David Croll on the occasion of Father’s Day, courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Boston Design Week

Back and bigger than ever for its 11th year, this multiday design extravaganza seeks to increase public awareness and appreciation of all facets of design. A special theme this year is “Designing for Tomorrow—Preserving for Tomorrow,” and events will take place throughout the city. The roundup includes seminars and panel discussions, self-guided design tours, museum exhibitions, and the not-to-be-missed Boston Design Week Lifetime Achievement Award.


Dress Up

The choice of dress can make a political statement, express a mood, or communicate personal identities. Through more than 100 works from the MFA’s collection, including 20th- and 21st-century clothing, jewelry, accessories, illustrations, and photographs, this exhibition explores adornment and its role in the creation of a look. Jewelry and fashion are given equal attention; there is no delineation between the two to encourage thinking of jewelry as fashion and fashion as jewelry. Objects with beads, sequins, and sparkle blur the lines between each genre and help visitors consider how and where the two can—and do—intersect. The exhibition will feature new acquisitions from the MFA’s fashion and jewelry collections, which have never before been on view.

4/13–9/2, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-267-9300,

Phillips Library purchase, Library Acquisition Fund, made possible by Arthur and Judi Rubin, courtesy of Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum

Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is the most continuously, frequently, and diversely depicted of American literary works. Its first sentence, “Call me Ishmael.” is one of the most iconic and best-known opening lines in all of literature. At the Peabody Essex Museum, Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick is the first exhibition focused on the book arts of the hundreds of editions published since 1851: the illustrations, binding designs, typography, and even the physical structures. The exhibition explores decades of creative approaches to interpreting the novel visually in book form. With more than 50 books on display, it will shed some light on Melville’s original inspiration and includes a contemporary update through recent artists’ books, graphic novels, a translation into emojis, and pop-up books.

6/1–1/4/25, 161 Essex St., Salem, 978-745-9500,

First published in the print edition of Boston Home’s Spring 2024 issue, with the headline “Happenings.”