Johnson Chapel interior viewed from the podium

Thirty-six artworks grace the walls of Johnson Chapel, including portraits of past Amherst College presidents, prominent alumni, and Amherst’s first woman faculty member — as well as incandescent depictions of the poet Emily Dickinson. Find the newest portrait, of Biddy Martin by Annie Leibovitz, on the North Wall.

View all of the portraits: 

Johnson Chapel

About Johnson Chapel

Dedicated in 1827, Johnson Chapel is one of the three oldest buildings on campus, and arguably the most iconic. “JChap,” as it’s known, is where previous generations of students used to gather for religious services every week, and where each class still gathers for Convocation when they arrive as first-year students, and Senior Assembly just before they graduate.

In addition to the chapel itself, the building houses the offices and classrooms of the English department and the Film and Media Studies program. 

Read more about Johnson Chapel in a Bicentennial excerpt from Amherst College: The Campus Guide, by architecture critic Blair Kamin ’79. “Never has Amherst received better value for any expenditure of $25,” writes Kamin. 

Photos: Jesse Gwilliam (top), Ralph Lieberman (inset, above)