On Saturday, July 3, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College unveiled the first in a series of new displays that promise to refresh every gallery in the museum before the start of the 2010-11 academic year. A computer-animated tour of each room as it will appear at the conclusion of the project is available on the Meads website, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead
I cant imagine a more satisfyingor more ambitioussummer project, observed the museums director, Elizabeth Barker. Thanks to the tireless, often inspired collaborations of our curatorial team, were radically transforming the Mead, and doing so with more ingenuity and elbow grease than expense. Even longtime visitors should expect to be surprised by the unfamiliar treasures mined from our storerooms and presented in fresh, intellectually provocative ways.
Following a five-week closure, the Mead will reopen incrementally to visitors during the Independence Day weekend with a display of post-World War II art. Additional galleries will reopen as they are refurbished, at a rate of approximately one per week throughout July and August. The new displays will present art of the early 20th century; art of the late 19th century; portraits from the ancient world to the Modern era; art of the Baroque era through the late 19th century; images of power and kingship from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas; and art of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. Temporary installations featuring prints by the Spanish Romantic artist Goya and works by the Russian émigré writer Joseph Brodsky will open in September.
The Meads lobby, with its café and bookshop, remains open throughout the summer and features a temporary computer station where visitors may take virtual, interactive tours of the new displays. Throughout the reinstallation project, the Mead remains free of charge and fully accessible.
The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. From July 3 through September 5, the museum will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended, academic-term opening hours begin on Sept. 7.