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Past Exhibits and Events

Innovation & Inspiration: Advertising in the Golden Age of Travel

Innovation & Inspiration features more than 20 original lithographs dating from the early 20th century though the 1950s, when lithographic prints became mainstream and promoted leisure travel.

Posters transport visitors to a time when luxurious ocean liners crossed the Atlantic, and steam-trains sped over tracks across the European continent—a time when "getting there" was more than half the fun.

As railroads, ocean liners, and eventually, mass airline travel sprang up, lithographic poster art became a marvel in its own right. Jules Cheret, widely considered the "father of the poster," devised the "three stone process" that made mass production of large color lithographs possible for the first time. Cheret’s breakthrough allowed artists to achieve complex colors with as little as three stones—usually red, yellow and blue—printed in careful registration in individual runs through the press. Through commissions, masters of the printmaking technique created posters that became exquisite fixtures in kiosks and train stations across America and Europe.

The exhibit reflects the growth of the lithographic poster, its impact on the emerging international travel industry, and celebrates the adventure, beauty and wanderlust of the early days of luxury travel.

Art Walk, Fort Point’s Spring Open Studios

May 10, 4-7pm
May 11 and 12, 12-5pm

Get up close and personal with Boston’s art scene during the Fort Point Arts Community’s Spring Open Studios, May 10-12, 2013. The 13th Annual Art Walk features open access to the waterfront warehouses that have become the creative home base to many area painters, photographers, ceramicists, fashion designers, printmakers, and more.

Visitors can soak up Boston in springtime while strolling through 10 buildings around Fort Point and exploring more than 75 studios, galleries, and creative design shops—including our Innovation & Inspiration exhibit. Local artists and craftspeople will be on site to share and sell their original artwork and provide insight to their creative processes. A series of special events including artists’ demonstrations, performances and hands-on activities will also take place throughout the weekend.

The Art Walk is open to the public with free parking in the Central Parking Lot on Binford Street. Grand Circle Gallery will have extended hours until 7pm on Friday, May 10.

More about Art Walk »

Reception details for Points of View: Visions of Travel and Community

Monday, February 25th, 2013

You and your friends are invited to a special documentary screening in celebration of Grand Circle Gallery’s current exhibit, Points of View: Visions of Travel and Community. We’re showcasing the work of student/artists from two Grand Circle Foundation-supported nonprofits that use visual arts to empower urban disadvantaged youth in Boston. You’ll hear from Global Potential (GP) youth and view two short documentaries focusing on their community development work in education and clean water. Following the discussion, we welcome you to join us for an “after party” with additional members of GP at the Gallery after 5:00 pm.

Fort Point Holiday Stroll

Friday, December 14, 2012, 4-8pm

Join Grand Circle Gallery on December 14 for a festive neighborhood-wide event around Boston’s Fort Point Channel. Local artists will have pieces for sale, and area galleries, bakeries, and shops will offer discounted shopping and snacks. It’s a festive evening and a fun way to take care of all your holiday shopping in one neighborhood!

Grand Circle Gallery will have extended hours until 8pm, so you’ll have extra time to browse our new exhibit Points of View. Select pieces in the show will be for available for purchase, and proceeds support worldwide youth community ventures coordinated by one of our partner non-profit organizations, Global Potential. Student artists from the organization will give tours of the exhibit and share the stories behind their pieces. We’ll also have complimentary treats and refreshments, along with maps of our participating neighbors.

Learn more from Friends of Fort Point »

Points of View Opening Party

Saturday, December 1, 5pm

Come celebrate the opening of Grand Circle Gallery’s latest exhibit, Points of View: Visions of Travel and Community with the student artists on Saturday evening, December 1.

In this compelling exhibit, a diverse group of young people from Boston who work with two Grand Circle Foundation-supported non-profits—Global Potential and West End House—set out to explore self-identification and bring awareness to social inequality through photography and videography.

At the exhibit opening, student artists will be at Grand Circle Gallery to speak with visitors about their artwork and how Global Potential and West End House have helped them develop a new perception of themselves. Select pieces will be for available for purchase by donation, and proceeds will support Global Potential and their youth community ventures.

Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. This event is open to the public.

Points of View: Visions of Travel and Community

Opens November 28, 2012

Individual images can evoke cultural and social connotations that extend far beyond the borders of a page. In Points of View, young people from different communities around the world set out to explore self-identification and social inequality through photography and videography. Their pieces document more than 20 youth-led community projects, which deal with cultural identity and social change in Boston and overseas.

High school students who contributed pieces to this provocative exhibit participate in two non-profit organizations that use visual arts as a medium to empower urban youth from low-income communities. Global Potential fosters leadership and social entrepreneurial skills in high-school students around the world. For Points of View, the organization’s students from Boston and New York traveled to rural villages in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic and collaborated on photo- and video-journalism pieces that compare their role in communities at home and abroad.

Students from West End House, an independent Boys and Girls Club in Boston that works with immigrant and urban youth, took a more local look at identity with photographs that focus on diversity, self-perception, and community. The young artists represent nine schools, five neighborhoods, and ten countries.

Every Four Years
A Look Back at Presidential Campaigns through Photography & Posters

September 19–November 17, 2012

Whether you lean right, left, or somewhere in between, election seasons have the power to stir up feelings of patriotism, passion, and even nostalgia. As current debates on campaign spending and voter rights call attention to the elections of the past, Grand Circle Gallery and the Robert Klein Gallery of Boston present a look back at presidential campaigns in Every Four Years.

Through vintage photographs and prints from the 1948 to 2008, this collaborative exhibit explores the public and private sides of presidential candidates, as well as pivotal moments in voting and Civil Rights for Americans over the years. Campaign posters from the Library of Congress and an annotated presidential timeline round out the retrospective.

Visitor information »

View a video about this exhibit:

Air France in Every Sky
Vintage Airline Travel Posters

September 19–November 17, 2012

From 1933 until 1958, Air France flew under the motto “Dans tous les ciels” (“In every sky”). The line first served to highlight the airline’s network between France and its colonies. By 1948, Air France operated one of the largest fleets in the world, traveling beyond Francophone destinations into skies around the world.

In Air France in Every Sky, Grand Circle Gallery presents our exclusive collection of promotional posters from this era of the airline. Vintage designs ranging from North Africa to South Americacapture Western European perceptions of the world and travel in the first half of the 20th century.

Fort Point Arts Community's 33rd Annual OPEN STUDIOS

Friday Preview: Oct. 19th: 4-7pm
Saturday and Sunday Oct. 20th & 21st 12-6pm

We are thrilled to participate in this year’s Open Studios weekend.

Explore more than 150 artists’ studios in Fort Point’s historic warehouse buildings. See amazing public art, visit galleries, ask questions. Stroll, ponder and browse. Savor the experience. And buy original art from the people who make it.

Free to the public
Free parking, thanks to Gillette/P&G

Visit the historic waterfront warehouses that are home to painters, sculptors, ceramicists, jewelers, performance artists, fashion designers, printmakers, book artists, photographers, and more. Meet local artists and craftspeople, and get a behind the scenes look at where Boston artists create their work. Find established artists, and discover new emerging talents.

Visitors to Open Studios can explore 10 buildings in the Fort Point neighborhood, plus galleries and creative design shops. All buildings are in easy walking distance of each other. Free participatory art-making activities for all ages will take place on the 1st floor at Midway Studios artists building at 15 Channel Center Street. A members Group Show will be on display at The FPAC Gallery in the Artists' Building at 300 Summer Street.

In addition to art by more than 150 artists and galleries which will be open, Open Studios features a series of special events

  • Artists’ Demonstrations
  • Public Art Installations
  • Performance

More at Fort Point Arts Community

Getting There: Design for Travel in the Modern Age

May 11-September 15, 2012

In the early 20th century, vacations focused as much on the journey as the destination. State-of-the-art maritime ships and comfortable sleeper cars were attractions in themselves, and a plane aisle was a place to see and be seen. But when we look back on this “Golden Age of Travel,” are we simply romanticizing clever marketing campaigns? And in a new democratized travel era, where does the design of passenger vessels and vehicles have to go?

Getting There, a collaborative exhibit with Design Museum Boston, explored how design affects experiences of traveling by ship, train, and plane. Vintage travel posters, contemporary photographs, and future design plans compared images of the past and present with dreams for future enterprises, while 3-D displays offered a glimpse into the evolution of travel outfits and accessories.

If you missed Getting There at Grand Circle Gallery, the exhibit will move to an open-ended run at Boston’s Logan Airport in Terminal E, beginning November 16, 2012

More information on Getting There at Logan Airport »

UNITE at Grand Circle Gallery

June 20th, 6:30PM


Thank to everyone who joined us for UNITE with Design Museum Boston. From enjoying food, drinks from our friends at Harpoon, and socialized while checking out our exhibition, Getting There: Design for Travel in the Modern Age. We also had some very special guests in attendance: the actual people behind some of the projects we featured in the exhibition!

Design Your Own Vintage Travel Poster: Student Poster Designs

May 11-June 30, 2012

Grand Circle Gallery was thrilled to host its second annual juried student poster design competition. Grand Circle Gallery presented an exhibit of the winning student poster designs made by Boston-area undergraduate students actively studying in graphic design programs.

We challenged young artists to create original interpretations of vintage travel posters that highlight top travel destinations offered by Grand Circle Corporation. The posters promoted the culture, history, or attractions of the destination. The student work was on display, beginning with Fort Point’s annual Art Walk event on May 11, 12, and 13 through June 30th.

Check out the slideshow of student poster designs below:

Spring Art Walk on the Waterfront

May 11: 4-7pm; May 12 & 13: 12-5pm

As the Fort Point’s edgy galleries have given way to luxury condos, the neighborhood’s arts scene has gone underground—and to the upper floors. While some of the most impressive artists are under the radar, they were all out in the open during the Fort Point Arts Community’s Spring Art Walk, a free weekend of open galleries and artist studios.

Grand Circle Gallery was proud to be a part of the Art Walk, where visitors discovered waterfront galleries, saw one-of-a-kind public art, and explored the studios of painters, jewelers, and photographers. From May 11 to 13, we provided maps of studios , restaurants, and stores who participated.

Travel-inspired artists in the neighborhood included:

  • Argentinean Martin Berinstein (249 A Street) spent the first 32 years of his life in Buenos Aires. He recently found more than 6,000 photographic negatives from his early years in South America and decided to revisit his hometown with a digital camera. He plans to display his favorite shots from both collections in an exhibit called “Buenos Aires: Then and Now.”
  • Laura Davidson (249 A Street) makes whimsical books, drawings, mosaics, and boxes. Her “tunnel books” show three-dimensional views of some of her favorite places, including Venice, Paris, and Florence.
  • Carol Bugarin (Group space at 12 Farnsworth) is perfecting her glass-blowing techniques in Venice this spring. She will be back to Fort Point in time to exhibit her colorful jewelry and accessories.

Winter Retreats
Vintage Posters Promoting Warm and Cold-Weather Escapes

February 1—April 28, 2012

Winter Retreats

Since the early days of international travel (before the reality of TSA anxiety, tedious traffic, cramped knees, and armrest scuffles), the chilly season was just the right time for a winter retreat.

To stay cheery through the wintry weather, Grand Circle Gallery looked back at the posters designed to entice travelers to dash off to vacation destinations around the globe. Much like today, thrill-seeking ski enthusiasts hit the slopes, and those in desperate need of lifting their feet up on a sun-drenched beach, took some time off for the season. This selection of vintage travel posters invited you to take it easy—and enjoy a low-tech, hassle-free journey!

Everything from the balmy resorts of Pau to the refreshingly crisp and clear Swiss mountain air, vintage travel posters offered destinations for travelers to visit and the ways in which they could get there. Their designs resonated with travelers’ curiosity to escape and conquer breathtaking landscapes and exotic attractions. Much like the great poster designers, explorer and cartographer Bradford Washburn photographed magnificent scenes that captured the sense of exploration, discovery, and adventure that early travelers sought. Washburn’s aerial panoramas of glaciers, mountain peaks, and snowy terrains—along with our vintage travel posters—offer adventure and a departure from everyday life.

Images of Italy: The Photography of George Daniell
Vintage prints capturing romantic Italian scenes

February 1—April 28, 2012

George Daniell

Born in Yonkers, New York in 1911, George Daniell’s early life was one “of deep blacks and whites,” as he put it. That is likely why, from his teens, he was drawn to cinematic black and white portraitures. After graduating from Yale, he began to photograph people willing to pose while enjoying the outdoors along the banks of the Hudson. He explained his wish to portray people at their best was “to capture beauty before it faded.”

Daniell fell in love with the food, warmth, and beauty of Italy in the 1950s while photographing celebrities on movie sets. His images of actors on the streets and in the countryside of devastated, postwar Italy combine his democratic vision and celebration of the culture of the celebrity.

Daniell’s fascination with capturing romantic Italian culture is translated into the shots viewed at the Gallery’s exhibit of his photography, displaying these classic European settings. Even without a familiar celebrity portrait in the frame, Daniell’s charming aesthetic and sophisticated style shines through.

Journeys Through the Mediterranean—
Maps, Guides and Posters from The Golden Age of Travel

October 14–January 28, 2012

Grand Circle Gallery and WardMaps of Cambridge, Massachusetts teamed up to present Journeys Through The Mediterranean—Maps, Guides, and Posters from The Golden Age of Travel this past fall.

Due to mutual interests in historic urban cartography, brothers Brian Beaucher and Steven Beaucher founded WardMaps in 2004. With a successful business today, WardMaps offers a huge selection of antique and vintage maps, atlases, and transit signs—with the core of the collection from the 19th and early 20th century.

The exhibition paired Grand Circle Gallery’s vintage travel posters with WardMaps’ antique pocket guides and maps, and transported visitors back to The Golden Age of Travel on the Mediterranean. Excerpts from turn-of-the-century Baedeker pocket guides placed you in the train station in Cairo, at the entrance to the Parthenon in Athens, or traveling through the Mediterranean’s ports-of-call, just as travelers did at the turn of the century. Destinations included Italy, France and the Riviera, Greece, Northern Africa, and Egypt, as well as Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon.

One of the displays of special interest was a collection of antique Baedeker travel guides and maps, many of which are rare and sought after by collectors.

Though travel guides were not a new invention at the time, Karl Baedeker’s innovation brought travel guides to a higher standard of detail and accuracy. As a son of a book printer, Baedeker was inspired to begin his own publishing company in 1827. After buying another publishing house in 1832 to expand his business, Baedeker discovered a travel guide that had been released through the old company, called Rheinreise von Mainz biss Köln (“Traveling the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne”), which provided inspiration for Baedeker’s first travel guides. Very soon after their first appearance, the red leather cover and gold lettering became a Baedeker trademark, and his status as a pioneer of international travel guides was solidified with the addition of detailed information for a destination’s accommodations, transportation, pricing, and star ratings for attractions.

Thank you for joining us, traveling back in time with Baedeker’s antique travel guides and exploring "The Golden Age of Travel” at Grand Circle Gallery!

The items loaned from WardMaps are for sale with the close of the show.

To view WardMaps authentic antique maps and other specialty gifts and memorabilia, please click, or visit 1735 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

» Learn more about WardMaps

Coffee Breaks

Thursday afternoons from 2-4pm

Coffee Break

Grand Circle Gallery and neighborhood favorite, Channel Café, offered coffee breaks Thursday afternoons from 2-4pm. Tours of the vintage travel posters on exhibit at the gallery were paired with complimentary beverages and tastings from Channel Café. Following the tour, visitors were offered a coupon to buy one breakfast, get one free at the eatery’s Summer Street restaurant.

» Learn more about Channel Café
» Learn more about Coffee Breaks (PDF)

African Song, Rhythm, and Dance

Thursday, August 11, 2011, 5:30-7:30pm

African Song, Rhythm, and Dance

Grand Circle Gallery was pleased to host Fatou-Carol Sylla of Cambridge's Under the Sun Dance & Drum for an interactive event and performance. Under the Sun Dance & Drum is a group of culturally diverse dancers and drummers comprised of performing artists and humanistic arts educators of West African and African rooted dance and music. The event included a lecture and demonstration of West African songs, rhythms, and dancing, along with the opportunity for audience participation.

Travels Through Africa

May 20, 2011-September 3, 2011

Travels Through Africa

Grand Circle Gallery partnered with Boston’s International Poster Gallery for an exhibition of vintage posters promoting travel to Africa from the early 20th century through the late 1960s. More than 30 posters featuring Northern Africa (with an emphasis on Egypt), Safari Africa, and Colonial Africa, as well as airline and steamship travel to the continent, were on display at Grand Circle Gallery. Visitors had the opportunity to view authentic African artifacts and tribal costumes and jewelry.

A collection of vintage luggage tags specific to the region—as well as a tribute to Thomas Cook and his impact on the early days of travel to Africa—were of special interest.

Many of the posters in the exhibit were on loan from International Poster Gallery, which was founded in 1994. Located on Newbury Street in Boston, International Poster Gallery is one of the leading antique poster galleries in the world. The gallery’s large collection features fine original advertising posters from 1890 to the present, primarily from Italy, France, Switzerland, Russia, and the U.S. Subjects include travel, food and beverage, sports, fashion, war and propaganda, and the arts.

In celebration of Travels Through Africa, Grand Circle Gallery hosted craft demonstrations, as well as music and dance performances, at the Gallery.

» Learn more about International Poster Gallery

Mancala Adventure

Saturday July 23rd
11am - 2pm

Children's Museum - Mancala Adventure

Student Poster Designs

April 29, 2011-May 8, 2011

Poster Design Competition

After hosting its first juried student poster design competition, Grand Circle Gallery presented an exhibit of student poster designs. The exhibition featured the work of Boston-area undergraduate students actively studying in graphic design programs.

The young artists created original interpretations of vintage travel posters that highlight the top travel destinations offered by Grand Circle Corporation’s entities: Grand Circle Travel (GCT) and Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). The posters promoted the culture, local traditions, history, or attractions of the destination. The student work was on view for one week only, and was also on display during Fort Point’s annual Art Walk event on May 6, 7, and 8!

Check out the slideshow of student poster designs below:


*Click image for poster description and information

People of the World: Through My Lens

April 14, 2011–April 30, 2011

Photography by Dr. Joe Heyman

Grand Circle Gallery was pleased to present the photography of Grand Circle Corporation’s own Overseas Adventure traveler Dr. Joe Heyman. People of the World: Through My Lens featured 18 photographs also seen in Heyman’s book by the same title of 80 images from around the world. Now 66 and residing in Williamsburg, Virginia, Heyman has revived his passion for photography and travel after a career in physics. Since retiring as Chief Technologist at NASA, Heyman’s travels provide the inspiration and focus for his evocative portraits.

Vintage Winter Sports

January 28, 2011-April 2, 2011

Winter Sports in the Vosges

Grand Circle Gallery partnered with the New England Ski Museum, based in Franconia, NH, for an exhibit at Grand Circle Gallery.

On display were more than 30 vintage ski and Winter Olympic posters, as well as artifacts and memorabilia from the early days of skiing in New England and Europe. Among the items are vintage skis, apparel, antique snowshoes, and ski paraphernalia. Most of the posters pre-date WWII. One highlight of the show was the New England Ski Museum's collection of the personal belongings of Hannes Schneider, an alpine skiing pioneer who is considered by many to be the Father of Modern Skiing. Schneider fled his native Austria in the early days of WWII, settling in North Conway, NH, where he opened the country's first ski school.

Most of the items in the exhibit were on loan from New England Ski Museum, which was founded in 1977 and opened to the public in 1982. The mission of the museum is to collect, conserve, and exhibit elements from the broad spectrum of ski history for the purposes of research, education and inspiration.

Grand Circle Gallery has a number of ski-themed, vintage posters in its collection, including "Chamonix-France/Kandahar" by French lithographer Gaston Gorde and "Palace Hotel, St. Moritz" by Emil Cardinaux, one of the genres' most well-known artists, which was also on display. Other highlights of the exhibit included the history of ski schools, the Dartmouth Winter Carnival, and the role of ski trains in bringing skiing to the masses.

» Learn more about the New England Ski Museum

Going Places

November 11, 2010-January 15, 2011

Artists For Humanity's Jean-Baptiste Laurie at work

Grand Circle Gallery and Artists for Humanity (AFH) teamed up to present “Going Places,” an exhibit featuring 50 pieces of hand-painted, recycled luggage, Keds slip-on sneakers, and messenger bags, painted by young artists participating in the AFH program. The collaboration directly supported the missions of both AFH and Grand Circle Corporation (GCC) and was not the first time the two organizations have partnered in ventures that support Boston’s inner city teens. “Our mission is to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing underserved youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the arts,” said AFH Executive Director Susan Rodgerson. Leading their efforts is AFH Mentoring Artist Sneha Shrestha, a recent graduate of Gettysburg College, who has won numerous awards for her work as an author, painter, and illustrator. Originally from Nepal, she was recently awarded a grant to open a children’s library at the Pancha Kanya School in Chhauni, Kathmandu, Nepal. Shortly after the facility opened, Shrestha established the SHOO project, through which she funds supplies for the library from the sale of hand-painted shoes. A portion of the proceeds generated from sales of the painted items in “Going Places” (the items on display were available for sale following the close of the exhibit) were donated to the fund, which has served as inspiration for this project. The theme of the exhibit allowed students great diversity in their subject matter. They could interpret “Going Places” from a physical, spiritual, or intellectual view. The aptly-named show carried over well to Grand Circle Gallery, which extended its exhibition of vintage travel posters, to serve as an elegant background to the installation. From Grand Circle Gallery, the show traveled to Logan Airport in Boston. AFH is also considering several spaces in New York City to exhibit beginning in the spring of 2011.

» Learn more about Artists for Humanity

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