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Fall for the Arts in The Palm Beaches

Fall for the Arts in The Palm Beaches

A pair of blockbuster exhibitions headline the fall cultural calendar in The Palm Beaches.

The most impressive collection of Andean gold ever to travel outside of Peru and iconic works by famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo both come to The Palm Beaches this autumn. Find out what else to put on your must-see list.

Machu Picchu at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

“Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru,” opening Oct. 16 and running through March 6, 2022, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, presents a stunning selection of 192 artifacts from royal tombs, including spectacular objects that belonged to Andean lords, many never seen outside of Peru. The fully intact gold attire of a Chimú Emperor dating to 1300 AD is one notable highlight.

Andean artifact from the Machu Picchu exhibit, Boca Raton Museum of Art
One of the Andean gold artifacts in the exhibit

Beyond marveling at these rare objects, exhibition guests are taken to the mysterious Incan city in the sky, built and abandoned within a century, through the first-ever virtual reality expedition of Machu Picchu — recorded in 2020 during the closure of the site due to the pandemic. State-of-the-art drone-VR technology was used to film the location, emptied of people, providing a never-before-seen look at the mythical landmark. Through cinematic motion chairs and virtual reality headsets, visitors experience the sights, sounds and breathtaking vistas of the ancient city 7,000 feet above sea level as if they are there. Roaring jaguars, screaming macaws and torrential rainfall envelop guests on this journey, which unravels the mysteries of Andean cosmology and underscores the sophistication of Andean artists.

VR at Machu Picchu exhibit, Boca Raton Museum of Art
Virtual reality experience at the exhibit

Rivaled only by Ancient Egypt in longevity and by the Roman Empire in engineering, Andean societies dominated a substantial segment of South America for more than 3,000 years straight throughout the reign of the Incan Empire. “Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru” showcases these rich histories and traditions like never before. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition will encompass the entire museum, including all galleries on both floors. An early access online ticket portal is now open to the public at   After visiting the exhibit, make it a full day of Peruvian culture, and get a taste of the country’s cuisine at an authentic Peruvian restaurant in The Palm Beaches. In Boca Raton, just minutes from the museum, try either Warike Peruvian Bistro or Pukara Peruvian Cusine. Other local favorites include Victoria’s, with locations in Lantana and Lake Worth, and Mestizo Peruvian Cuisine in West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village.

Frida Kahlo at the Norton Museum of Art

For global cultural star power, Frida Kahlo is hard to beat. Over the past 30 years, the brilliant and tormented artist who died in 1954 has experienced a posthumous ascension to the peak of modern art celebrity. Her distinctive unibrow can now be found adorning handbags, socks, puzzles, posters, mugs and every other imaginable consumer item worldwide.

Self-Portrait with Monkeys by Frida Kahlo
“Self-Portrait with Monkeys” by Frida Kahlo;  © 2021 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

“Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection” brings more than 150 paintings, works on paper, photographs and period clothing items to the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. From Oct. 23 through Feb. 6, 2022, see 22 paintings and works on paper by Kahlo and 18 paintings, works on paper and photographs by her husband, famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. The exhibition considers these artists’ creative pursuits in the broader context of art created during a renaissance following the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920.

Sunflowers by Diego Rivera
“Sunflowers” by Diego Rivera; © 2021 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tracing the influence of Mexicanidad, the belief that Mexicans could create an authentic modernism by exploring the country’s indigenous culture, the exhibition reveals the centrality of this idea to Kahlo’s iconography. Even her adoption of traditional Tehuana clothing reflected Kahlo’s desire to establish a connection with ancestral Mexico while expressing a cross-cultural identity that honored her heritage and status as a modern woman. A selection of period vintage dresses sourced in Mexico will be on view in the exhibition, enriching the presentation’s examination of Kahlo’s art in the context of her life and persona.

Original Aboriginal Art

If Kahlo were alive today and visiting The Palm Beaches, it’s easy to imagine she’d take great interest in the exhibition of original Aboriginal paintings and sculpture from Australia on view Sept. 7 through Oct. 29 at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery & 2D Studio in Tequesta. Created mostly by women, an array of fantastically colored and intricately detailed paintings are the focus of this presentation. With no written language, these cultures relied upon visual arts — and the icons and symbols contained within — to pass information and share stories across generations. All the artwork on view has been ethically sourced and is available for purchase.

Emu Seed Dreaming by Kathleen Edwards
“Emu Seed Dreaming” by Kathleen Edwards

Return to Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

Coinciding with the arrival of cooler weather, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach reopens Oct. 1, welcoming guests back to explore its lush grounds adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. Norton’s monumental sculptures share space with an assemblage of more than 250 rare palm species, cycads and unusual tropical botanicals. Stand in wonder at her “Untitled Horizontal Sculpture” (1979), a full 48-feet-long, the first piece you’ll encounter upon entering the gardens. Eight other colossal artworks are located on the grounds including “Seven Beings.” Its figures are partially obscured by foliage, so guests may feel as though they’ve stumbled across a secret ritual or intimate family gathering. While there, be sure to drop in on Norton’s studio, which has been painstakingly refurbished, for an intimate glimpse behind the scenes of her art making.

Seven Beings sculpture by Ann Norton
“Seven Beings” sculpture tucked away in the gardens


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