Mead Art Museum at Amherst College To Dedicate the William Green Teaching Gallery Oct. 5

September 30, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will dedicate its teaching gallery in honor of William Green (1915-2005) at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. A reception and viewing of selections from a remarkable collection of some 2,500 prints will be held in the museum, to celebrate Green's connoisseurship as a collector and to recognize the generous gift of his Japanese woodblock prints to the permanent collection.

William Green began collecting ukiyo-e prints while stationed in Japan during the Korean War. His collection is noteworthy for its breadth of subject matter and formats, and contains representative works from almost all of the best-known ukiyo-e artists from the mid-18th to the late-19th century, including kabuki theater scenes and actor portraits, courtesans, warriors and battle scenes, children and sumo wrestlers as well as the erotic shunga prints, surimono and e-goyomi. In 1973, Green founded the Ukioy-e Society of America and served as its first president. He was the author of more than 20 articles on ukiyo-e prints and important collectors.

His collection, well known to a global community of scholars, was intended as an educational and research resource that he planned to keep intact. Although not an alumnus of Amherst College, he was impressed by the strength of its alumni support and its undergraduate teaching mission. In the '90s, Green made smaller gifts of prints to the Mead Art Museum with the intention of bequeathing the entire group. These yearly gifts formed the basis of three exhibitions, held in 1991, 1999 and 2004. He also donated his library, which includes many rare and archival reference works in the field, to the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. In August of 2005, just weeks before his death on September 9, he made the gift of over 1,800 works still remaining at his home to the Mead Art Museum. This donation provides Amherst College with the largest collection of ukiyo-e prints in an academic museum.

The William Green Teaching Gallery is a multi-purpose gallery space where faculty and students can examine original works of art from the collection along with digital images or slides. It serves also as a prints study room with temporary installations of works on paper for curricular use.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum's website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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Prize-Winning Russian Poet Sergey Gandlevsky to Read at Amherst College Oct. 5

September 30, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— Russian poet Sergey Gandlevsky will read from his work at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Webster Hall). Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Russian, the reading and a reception to follow are free and open to the public. An important figure in the Soviet-era literary underground, Gandlevsky was unable to publish in Russia until the fall of the Soviet Union. He has since garnered major literary prizes for several books of poetry and a book of memoirs, including both the Little Booker Prize and the Anti-Booker Prize for his 1996 work, Trepanation of the Skull. Gandlevsky will read in Russian, accompanied by his translator, Philip Metres, who will read his English translations of Gandlevsky's work, all of which have been published in A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky.

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Amherst College Professor Emeritus Benjamin DeMott Dies at 81

September 29, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Benjamin DeMott, professor of English, emeritus at Amherst College, died this morning at his home in Worthington, Mass. He was 81 years old.

Born on June 2, 1924 in Rockville Centre, N.Y., DeMott studied as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, where he received a B.A. degree in 1949. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953. He was married in 1946 to Margaret Craig, who survives him, as do four children and several grandchildren.

DeMott taught at Amherst from 1951 until his retirement in 1990. A trenchant observer of the American scene, DeMott wrote several works of cultural criticism, including Junk Politics: The Trashing of the American Mind (2005), Killer Woman Blues: Why Americans Can't Think Straight about Gender and Power (2000) and The Trouble With Friendship: Why Americans Can't Think Straight about Race (1995) .

When The Imperial Middle: Why Americans Can't Think Straight about Class, was published in 1990, Barbara Ehrenreich praised it in The New York Times as “imaginative, challenging and a pleasure to read. For anyone ready to cut through our collective delusions and begin the long overdue talk about class, there could not be a more congenial conversationalist than Mr. DeMott.”

DeMott recalled his style of teaching in an essay titled “English and the Promise of Happiness,” published in 1991, shortly after his retirement from Amherst. “As for methods: they are simplicity itself. The armory boasts a few conversation-generating questions, and little else.” A prolific writer, DeMott was known as a sharp social critic. His essays and reviews appeared in The New York Review of Books, Harper's, Esquire, Saturday Review, The Atlantic Monthly and Life, among many others, here and abroad.

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Multimedia Artist Wenda Gu To Speak at Amherst College Oct. 20

September 28, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Artist Wenda Gu will speak at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (115 Fayerweather) at Amherst College. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the main hall in Fayerweather.

Wenda Gu left China in 1987 and quickly became one of the leading contemporary Chinese artists of his generation. Gu is most famous for his work with unusual materials, including human hair and blood, and as the artist whose monumental installation was violently destroyed by a Russian artist at the infamous "Interpol" exhibit in Stockholm in 1996. Much of Gu's reputation is built on his role in reinvigorating ancient Chinese symbols and practices, imbuing seals, calligraphy and ink painting with contemporary vision and meaning.

Gu's most ambitious project, the United Nations series, consists of installations around the world where hair is used to create works of art emblematic of a future not ruled by racial or national boundaries. To mark the British relinquishment of Hong Kong to China, he created "United Nations: Hong Kong Monument: The Historical Clash," which consisted of a Chinese flag made of Chinese hair; a Union Jack made of British hair; and hair cuttings from Hong Kong scattered on the floor. These "United Nations" monuments have been installed in Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.

For a complete listing of fine arts events taking place throughout the year, visit www.amherst.edu/~finearts/calendar05-06.htm.

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Poet J.D. McClatchy To Appear in Amherst Oct. 13 and 14

September 28, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Award-winning poet J.D. McClatchy will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, at Amherst Books at 8 Main St. in Amherst, and present an illustrated lecture, titled “The Writer's Desk,” at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (115 Fayerweather) at Amherst College. His reading is sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center; his talk at the college is sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library. Free and open to the public, both events will be followed by receptions.

J. D. McClatchy is the author of five books of poetry: Hazmat (2002) which was nominated for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize; Ten Commandments (1998); The Rest of the Way (1992); Stars Principal (1986); and Scenes from Another Life (1981). His selected poems, Division of Spoils, appeared in England in 2003. He has also published two collections of essays: Twenty Questions (1998) and White Paper (1989). He is the editor of nearly 20 books and has also written texts for musical settings, including eight opera libretti. He is the recipient of many honors and awards.

J. D. McClatchy was born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., in 1945. He was educated at Georgetown and Yale, where he received his Ph.D. in 1974. He is a professor of English at Yale and lives in Stonington, Conn.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center organizes an annual reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See the center's website for more information.

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Amherst College and Emily Dickinson Museum Announce Lecture on Role of Religion in Poet's Life Oct. 22

September 27, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Jane D. Eberwein of Oakland University will speak on "Household of Faith: The Religious Climate of Emily Dickinson's World" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, at First Congregational Church, 165 Main St., Amherst. Co-sponsored by the Amherst College Department of English, the talk will focus on the religious environment which shaped and informed Dickinson's work, even as she refused to join the church. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Eberwein is Distinguished Professor of English at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she specializes in American authors with roots in New England Puritanism. She is editor of An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia (1998) and Early American Poetry: Selections from Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Timothy Dwight, Philip Freneau, and William Cullen Bryant (1978) and author of Dickinson: Strategies of Limitation (1985) as well as various essays on the role of religion in Dickinson's life and work. She will speak at First Congregational Church, which Dickinson 's brother helped to build and where the poet's family regularly worshiped.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, comprising the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic houses in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Merged into a single museum in 2003, both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information, please visit the Emily Dickinson Museum's website.

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Artist Glenn Goldberg to Lecture at Amherst College Oct. 6

September 27, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Artist Glenn Goldberg will lecture on his work at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 in the Pruyne Lecture Hall (115 Fayerweather) at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Fine Arts Department, Goldberg's lecture will coincide with an exhibition of his work in the College's Eli Marsh Gallery from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22. Following his presentation, the fine arts faculty will hold a light reception in Fayerweather's main hall. Both the lecture and the reception are free and open to the public.

Goldberg lives and works in New York City, where he earned his MFA from Queens College. In addition to his numerous exhibitions around the world, he has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and serves as an adjunct instructor at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. His artwork is exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Kosovar Library Interns Train at Amherst College

September 21, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Two student librarians from Kosovo will be interning at Amherst College's Robert Frost Library one day per week through November 10. Shukrie Rama and Urim Salluka are part of a training and academic program for nine staff members of the National and University Library of Kosovo. The program, conducted by the Institute for Training and Development and the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, is designed to expose participants to the technologies, policies and procedures of modern librarianship so they may serve effectively as librarians in the new library of the University of Pristina in Kosovo. The participants' work after returning to Kosovo will support the university curriculum. The program is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.

Shukrie Rama received her M.A. degree in philology with a concentration on Albanian literature from the University of Pristina in 2003. Working closely with the director of the National and University Library of Kosova, she manages the ISBN national agency and facilitates cooperation between libraries around the world. Rama is also actively working to create a consortium of electronic libraries in Kosovo.

Urim Salluka is in the process of completing his degree in English language and literature at the University of Pristina. Since 2002 he has volunteered as the sole librarian of the university's English Department Library.

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Yale University's David W. Blight To Speak at Amherst College Oct. 20

September 21, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—David W. Blight of Yale University will speak on “The Emancipation of Wallace Turnage and John Washington” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Cole Assembly Room, Converse Hall, at Amherst College. Sponsored by the History Department and the Dean of the Faculty, this lecture series is named in honor of Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies Hugh Hawkins. Blight's lecture is free and open to the public.

Blight is the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and director of Yale's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. One of the nation's foremost authorities on the United States Civil War and its legacy, he is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) which earned a variety of awards, including the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, three awards from the Organization of American Historians and the Bancroft Prize. Blight's other books include Frederick Douglass's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989) and Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (2002). He has edited and co-edited five other books, including When This Cruel War Is Over: The Civil War Letters of Charles Harvey Brewster (1992) and Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era (1997), and is co-author of the U.S. history textbook A People and a Nation.

Blight earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taught at North Central College, Amherst College and Harvard University. His courses include seminars in 19th-century U.S. history, African-American history and historical memory.

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Mead Art Museum To Celebrate the Opening of “The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity” with Reception and Lecture

September 20, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will celebrate the opening of the exhibition "The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity" with a reception and lecture on "Josephine and Malmaison" by Bernard Chevallier, the director of the Musée de Malmaison in Rueil-Malmaison, France, at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Fund at Amherst College, Chevallier's lecture and a champagne reception afterward in the museum are free and open to the public.

A leading scholar of the First Empire, Chevallier is the author of several books on the empress. He has lectured widely on Napoleon and Josephine. His talk, "Josephine and Malmaison," will address the many interests Josephine pursued -from botany and horticulture to her gardens, the menagerie, and her collections of fine art- as she transformed the property and château of Malmaison. Once the principal residence of Napoleon and Josephine, Malmaison, located about 10 kilometers west of Paris, is now a museum devoted to the empress.

An international loan show, "The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity" focuses on Napoleon's consort, "the incomparable Josephine," and explores the ways in which Josephine, like Napoleon, made use of art and patronage in the fashioning of her royal identity. It will be on view at the Mead until Dec. 18.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum's website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

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