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On June 21, 2003, the Peabody Essex Museum emerges from a $125 million transformation and takes its place as one of the nation's premier museums of art and culture. With more than 250,000 square feet of new and renovated exhibition and public spaces, the new Peabody Essex will showcase New England's significant artistic and cultural heritage, as well as outstanding collections from Asia, Africa, Native America, and Oceania.
Founded by merchant adventurers in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum in the country. The museum's collection contains 2.4 million works from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Pacific Islands, and Africa, as well as outstanding collections of Native American art, architecture and design, American decorative art, maritime art and history, photography, and the nation's premier collection of art and culture from New England, plus the distinguished manuscript and book collection of the Phillips Library.