Brian J. Conway Appointed Trustee at Amherst College

June 21, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Trustees of Amherst College have appointed Brian J. Conway of Newton, Massachusetts to a six-year term on the board effective July 1. Conway graduated from Amherst in 1980.

Conway majored in economics and English at Amherst, where he received a B.A. magna cum laude in 1980. He earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1984. He is a managing director at T.A. Associates, a private equity firm managing $5 billion of committed capital, where he is head of the Technology Group in the firm’s Boston office.

Conway is also chairman of the Steppingstone Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops and implements educational programs for inner-city children in Boston and Philadelphia. Conway is married to Karen Swett Conway, an architect. They have four children.

The Board of Trustees of Amherst College consists of the president of the college, ex officio, and 20 other members: 14 term trustees, elected by the board, and six alumni trustees elected by alumni of the college. Founded in 1821, Amherst is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, with 1,650 undergraduates.

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Natasha Staller Offers a New Look at Picasso, His Artistic Imagination and Cubism

June 21, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Natasha Staller, associate professor of fine arts at Amherst College, is the author of A Sum of Destructions: Picasso’s Cultures and the Creation of Cubism ($50, Yale University Press, London, 2002), a study of the historical and cultural antecedents that the dominant painter of the 20th century recreated and the first study of “the degree to which revolutionary Cubism was saturated with Picasso’s past.” Staller excavates Picasso’s most fundamental lifelong attitudes, which all, she says, were formed in provincial Málaga. She demonstrates how his art responded to a series of deracinations, of moving from region to region, language to language, customs to customs.

A Sum of Destructions considers the many cultures that inspired the Spanish artist, from his “enchanted culture of childhood” in Málaga, to the “technical virtuosity” he acquired in conservative Spanish academies of art, to “the romance of popular culture” he found in advertisements and films, to the “belief that the defeat of the African Moor made Spain ‘modern.’” Picasso’s art, Staller writes, was born in “a vast panorama of different climates, geographies, flora and fauna, marked by waves of natural catastrophes, by economic disasters and social repercussions, by historical myths of great remembered holy wars and a down and dirty political present, by often calcified institutions, and by technological inventions like the cinema.”

Staller considers much new, often archival, material: from coded messages señoritas sent with fans to ritual re-enactments of holy wars, from enchanted characters of fairy tales to superstitions, bullfighting treatises, provincial art-school manuals, three-minute films and Picasso’s childhood works his parents saved from the time he was nine.

A Sum of Destructions portrays Picasso as a thoroughly modern artist on a resolutely traditional quest: “Struggling to make sense of experience,” Staller writes, “to make meaning, to make beauty—even as he redefined what was beautiful—goes to the core of what it means to be human.”

Staller, educated at Wellesley College (A.B.) and Harvard University (Ph.D.), has taught at Amherst since 1992, after teaching at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. She has had fellowships at Harvard (Society of Fellows), Yale (Getty Fellowship/ Whitney Humanities Center), the University of Pennsylvania (Mellon Fellowship) and Radcliffe College (Bunting Institute.) Working on The Sum of Destructions for more than 20 years, Staller has lectured on Picasso’s re-creation of his cultural heritage in museums and universities, published parts of the book in Arts Magazine, Art Bulletin, Art History and the catalog of Picasso: The Early Years (1997), an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

More information from the Yale University Press Website

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Scott Turow Elected Trustee at Amherst College

June 21, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— The alumni of Amherst College have elected Scott Turow, a novelist, lawyer and member of the Class of 1970, to a six-year term on the college’s Board of Trustees effective July 1. Turow is a resident of the Chicago area.

Turow, born in Chicago in 1949, received a B.A. magna cum laude as an independent scholar from Amherst College in 1970. A creative writing fellowship took him to Stanford University, where Turow taught at the Creative Writing Center from 1972 to 1975. He graduated from Harvard Law School with honors in 1978, then was an assistant United States attorney in Chicago from 1978 to 1986, serving as the lead prosecutor in several federal trials investigating corruption in the Illinois judiciary. After entering private practice he won a reversal in the murder conviction of a man who had spent 11 years in prison, many of them on death row, for a crime another man had confessed to. Turow is a partner with Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, an international law firm.

The author of the novels Reversible Errors (forthcoming, Fall 2002); Personal Injuries (1999); The Laws of Our Fathers (1996); Pleading Guilty (1993); Burden of Proof (1990); and Presumed Innocent (1987), Turow first made his literary mark with One L: An Inside Account of Life in the First Year at Harvard Law School (1977). His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and numerous legal publications.

Turow has been married to Annette Turow, a painter, since 1971. They have three children.

The Board of Trustees of Amherst College consists of the president of the college, ex officio, and 20 other members: 14 term trustees, elected by the board, and six alumni trustees elected by alumni of the college. Founded in 1821, Amherst is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, with 1,650 undergraduates.

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