The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity at Mead Art Museum at Amherst College Thursday, Sept. 22 to Sunday, Dec. 18

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

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will present The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity, an international loan show focusing on Napoleon's consort, "the incomparable Josephine," from Thursday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Dec. 18. Art and Royal Identity will explore the ways in which Josephine, like Napoleon, made use of art and patronage in the fashioning of her identity. The exhibit will open with a public reception and lecture on "Josephine and Malmaison" by Bernard Chevallier, the director of the Musée de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Stirn Auditorium. Malmaison, once the residence of Napoleon and Josephine, is now the principal museum devoted to the empress.

Carol Solomon Kiefer, the curator of European art at the Mead Art Museum and curator of the exhibition, will give a gallery talk on "The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity," at 12 noon on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the museum.

Josephine (1763-1814) was one of the most popular French consorts, but her power and influence have been understated. Only in recent years has she been recognized as a figure of political and cultural authority. Although divorced from Napoleon in 1809 because she was unable to provide an heir, Josephine retained the title of empress and queen until her death. She contributed to Napoleon's propagandistic exploitation of the visual arts and played a vital role in his rise to power. The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity will contribute to this revised understanding of the empress, adding new insights about her patronage, influence and status in the political and cultural life of her times.

The exhibition will explore the image of the empress in official and unofficial portraits as well as in such representations as British caricatures and French popular prints. It will reflect the range of her collecting interests and patronage-from horticulture, botanical prints and the design of her garden at Malmaison to fashion, commemorative projects and contemporary art, including women artists and the painters of the Troubadour style.

Beginning with a core group of Napoleonic works from the collection of the Mead, Kiefer has chosen some 90 objects for this exhibition. The paintings, drawings, prints, miniatures, sculpture and decorative arts will also include loans from North American and European collections, including 30 works from the Musée de Malmaison and several from the Bibliothèque Thiers, Institut de France, Paris, which houses one of the largest archives devoted to Napoleon and Josephine. Other institutional lenders include the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Brown University, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill University and the Houghton Library at Harvard University.

A related exhibit, The Age of Napoleon and Josephine: Paintings, Prints, and Drawings, will be on view in the Collins Gallery at the Mead Art Museum from August 27 to Dec. 18. Chosen from the permanent collection of the Mead, this exhibition presents a selection of paintings, prints and drawings reflecting Neoclassical and other trends in art from the age of Napoleon and Josephine. Works created in the early decades of the 19th century by students and contemporaries of Jacques-Louis David, the leading artist during the reign of Napoleon, will be featured. Several recent acquisitions will be on view for the first time. Artists include Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon and Nicolas-Antoine Taunay.

A symposium titled Queens, Queens, Queens and Empresses will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) at Amherst College. A concert of chamber music and song, Music from the Salon of the Empress Josephine, with soprano, flute, harp and fortepiano will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, in the Rotherwas Gallery at the Mead. The 2003 film Napoleon, directed by Yves Simoneau and starring Isabella Rossellini as Josephine, will be screened in the Mead Teaching Gallery on Thursdays, Oct. 20 and 27 and Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. A Conversation with Isabella Rossellini will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3:30 p.m., during which the actress will discuss and answer questions about her role as Josephine.

With links to courses at Amherst and other Five College institutions, The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity will be accompanied by a richly illustrated scholarly catalogue by Carol Solomon Kiefer. Bernard Chevallier, the director and chief curator at Malmaison, and Alain Pougetoux, curator at Malmaison, will also contribute to the catalogue. Support for the exhibition, catalogue and related programs has been generously provided by the Drue Heinz Trust, Air France, Amherst Arts Series Fund, Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College, The Hall and Kate Peterson Fund and the following departments at Amherst College: English, European Studies, Fine Arts, French, History, Music, Russian and Women's and Gender Studies.

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 at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.

Concurrent with The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity, the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Mass., will present The French Portrait: Revolution to Restoration, an exhibition of more than 50 works exploring the broad scope of French portraiture during the Neoclassical period, from Friday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Dec. 11.

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Urban Planner Lawrence Vale To Speak on “The Resilient City” at Amherst College Sept. 28

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

AMHERST, Mass.—Professor Lawrence Vale, head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and a 1981 graduate of Amherst College, will speak on “The Resilient City: Disaster Recovery and the Urban Imagination” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Cole Assembly Room (Red Room) in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the President's Initiative Fund on the Urban Imagination, Vale's talk is free and open to the public.

Vale will address how cities that have undergone substantial disasters—“natural” and “man-made”— restructure themselves, and how the relationships between the geo-political site and the imagined site manifest themselves during this process.

Vale also will address the current situation in New Orleans, the destruction caused in the city by Hurricane Katrina and the difficulties facing those who would rebuild it.

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Amherst College Physics Professor David Hall Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Research on Vortices in BEC

September 16, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—David Hall, assistant professor of physics at Amherst College, has received a grant of $317,500 from the National Science Foundation to support his research, which brings the strange quantum world of Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC), the coldest matter in the universe, to undergraduate researchers.

The work will contribute directly to the understanding of vortices and superfluidity in dilute Bose gases. Hall stresses that "the broader impact of this work falls primarily within the relationship of cutting-edge experimental BEC research to undergraduate education. Undergraduate researchers easily use the operating BEC apparatus. Indeed, the apparatus exists exclusively for their use, with no competition from graduate students. At the same time, the laboratory hosts visits by undergraduate classes from colleges throughout the region, developing and expanding the interest in the exciting fields of atom trapping and cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation."

The research focuses on experiments in Feshbach resonances, which allow the experimenters to vary the strength of the atomic interactions in a Bose-Einstein condensate of rubidium, with an attention to the physics of component separation in binary BECs and vortex states in the noninteracting limit of single-component BECs.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College currently receives almost $5 million in support from such grants.

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Amherst College Professors Scott Kaplan, Whitey Hagadorn and Will Loinaz Receive National Science Foundation Grant for Computer

September 16, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Scott Kaplan, assistant professor of computer science, Whitey Hagadorn, assistant professor of geology, and Will Loinaz, assistant professor of physics at Amherst College, have received a grant of $298,839 from the National Science Foundation to support setting up a computer cluster for research that requires substantial computational processing and data storage. They will be building a high performance computing cluster with 150 processors over the next three years.

This computer cluster, used to support computing-intensive research through simulations and visualization, will be made available to other Amherst faculty and students for research and curricular uses, and to Five College faculty and students collaborating with Amherst faculty.

Kaplan and computer scientists Prashant Shenoy, Deepak Ganesan and Mark Corner at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Sami Rollins at Mount Holyoke also have been awarded $300,000 from the NSF to acquire an experimental network of embedded sensor and small-scale computing devices. This network will be placed at locations within the participating institutions and used to drive research on these devices and their networking.

Kaplan says that these grants enable research in the integration of buffer cache policies, lattice quantum field theories, fossil visualization and a computational model for dispersion of mercury.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using almost $5 million in such grants.

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Amherst Professor Deborah Gewertz Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Research on Fats

September 16, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Deborah Gewertz, the G. Henry Whitcomb 1874 Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College, and her colleague Frederick Errington from Trinity College (Hartford), have received a grant of $99,961 from the National Science Foundation to support their research on the burgeoning trade in fatty meats-and the growth in obesity-in the developing world.

The sale of fatty meats from the developed to the developing world has become controversial because diet-related life-style diseases are becoming more common in the developing world. Gewertz and Errington are investigating the trade of lamb and mutton flaps (sheep bellies) as they are exported from New Zealand and Australia into Papua New Guinea Fiji.

"Most broadly, this project will be an important case study of the workings of global trade," Gewertz and Errington note, "the workings of international markets in shaping and in responding to local economies, diets and governmental concerns. This new information will be relevant to public debates about the appropriate relationships between national sovereignty and consumer choice in a global marketplace. In essence, these are debates about whether the market should be regulated by governments deciding what is best for their citizens or be regulated by consumers deciding what is best for themselves."

Anthropologists who will study how this Pacific trade works, Gewertz and Errington are asking what sorts of understandings it takes to drive this trade. As ethnographers they will analyze how relationships are maintained with a diverse range of importers and distributors, and in their field work they will study how and why Papua New Guinean and Fijian consumers embrace or eschew such cuts of meat, and how the governments of Papua New Guinea and Fiji reach decisions about what is good for their citizens, decisions which may go against consumer desires.

The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest more than $3 billion a year in almost 20,000 research and education projects. Amherst College is currently using almost $5 million in such grants.

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Alex Kozinski To Speak on the Federal Judiciary in Observance of Constitution Day at Amherst College Sept. 22

September 14, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—In observance of Constitution Day, the Honorable Alex Kozinski, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, will deliver a talk titled "At the Crossroads: The Federal Judiciary and the Political Branches of Government" at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Office of the President at Amherst College, the talk and a reception to follow are free and open to the public.

A distinguished jurist and prolific writer, Judge Kozinski was born in Bucharest, Romania, and came to the United States at age 12. In 1985 he became the youngest federal appeals judge in the country.

To commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 17 87, Congress in 2004 designated September 17 as Constitution Day. Because the anniversary falls on a Saturday, observance has been moved to September 22.

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Campbell Brothers Perform Sacred Steel Guitar Music at Amherst College Sept. 17

September 14, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Campbell Brothers will present a performance of sacred steel gospel music at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, in the Friedmann Room (formerly the Front Room) in the Keefe Campus Center at Amherst College. A pre-concert discussion with the Campbell Brothers will be take place in the McCormick Room at 4 p.m. The concert and discussion are free and open to the public.

A reviewer in the alternative Denver newspaper WestWord wrote, "The Campbells create a unique, steel-guitar-driven gospel music called "sacred steel" that's every bit as earth-shattering as [blues legend Robert] Johnson's music was in the '30s. It's a soul-stirring blend of gospel and the power and volume of electric blues and rock, a sound as hot as brimstone that kicks holy butt. It's also shredding perceptions of country's signature instrument and the limitations of church music." Committed to their musical roots in the House of God Church and to an active performance schedule that takes them across the globe, The Campbell Brothers promise an exhilarating experience of sacred steel gospel.

The Campbell Brothers will appear as part of the Global Sound Project, a beneficiary of a President's Initiative Fund at Amherst College.

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Discussion of Experiential Education at Amherst College Sept. 26

September 14, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—A discussion about experiential education and a talk on the history of student activism will be held at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Working Group on Experiential Education and the Office of the President, both events are free and open to the public.

The 4:30 p.m. panel discussion on "Colleges and Their Communities: The Classroom and the World" will feature panelists Wayne Meisel, director of the Bonner Foundation and founder of COOL; Jon Isham, an assistant professor of economics and environmental studies at Middlebury College; Preston Smith, associate professor of politics and director of community-based learning at Mount Holyoke College, and Gail Woldu, an associate professor of music at Trinity College (Hartford) and an ACE Fellow at Amherst.

At 7:30 p.m. Wayne Meisel, director of the Bonner Foundation and founder of COOL (Campus Outreach Opportunity League) will talk about "The History of Student Movements, and What's Possible at Amherst" and lead a discussion. The Bertram F. Bonner Foundation supports scholarships for low-income students through the Bonner Scholars Program. In return, each scholarship recipient performs 600 hours of community service a year.

Educated at Harvard University, Meisel used a fellowship to walk from Maine to Washington to champion student and campus involvement in community service. As founder of COOL, Meisel created a platform for students and graduates to lead, sustain and challenge their peers to serve others and bring about positive change. Meisel has received a Lyndhurst Career Prize and served on the National Boards of Directors of the Independent Sector, COOL, and The New Grange School, a nationally acclaimed school for youths with learning disabilities. He was also a founding board member of the President's commission on National and Community Service and Teach for America. The author of two books, Building a Movement: Students in Community Service and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: From Student Ideas to Campus Action, Meisel also has edited two books of quotations: Men About Men and Light One Candle .

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19th-Century Plumbing at Emily Dickinson Museum Sept. 25

September 9, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Household plumbing, electric wiring and heating units are just a few of the comforts that we take for granted in the modern home. For houses built in earlier eras, such emerging technologies were tests for builders and homeowners. At 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 25, the Emily Dickinson Museum will explore those challenges when author and historian Maureen Ogle presents "Plumbing the Past: A Lecture and Special Tour of the Infrastructure of the Evergreens and the Homestead," an exploration of the fascinating world of 19th-century household technology.

The lecture and a question and answer session will take place at the Amherst Women's Club, 35 Triangle Street. An open house of both Dickinson houses will follow to highlight the household technologies-or lack thereof-discussed in Ogle's talk. Advance registration is required; the registration fee is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students. For more information and to register, please contact Tricia Gilrein, the program coordinator, at 413/542-8161, 413/542-2034 or pagilrein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

The Evergreens and Homestead retain ample evidence of the household technologies used by the Dickinson family and their 19th -century neighbors. "Visitors are intrigued by how people in earlier times lived on a practical, ordinary level," noted Jane Wald, director of resources and collections at the Museum. "How did the Dickinsons heat their water, take baths, stay warm, cook their food and clean their houses without the mechanical systems and appliances we all take for granted? And, above all, where were the bathrooms?"

The author of All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing, 1840-1890 , the first book on the history of plumbing in America, Maureen Ogle received her Ph.D. from the History of Technology and Science program at Iowa State University, and left academia in 1999 to write popular history for a general audience. She has also published a history of Key West, Fla., and has just completed a forthcoming history of beer: Ambitious Brew: The Story of Immigrants and Entrepreneurs Who Invented American Beer, which will appear in late 2006.

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 on the Emily Dickinson Museum, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

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Education Theorist William Howell To Speak at Amherst College Sept. 14

September 6, 2005
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Education theorist William Howell will speak on "The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools," at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Office of the President at Amherst College, Howell 's talk is free and open to the public.

An associate professor of government at Harvard University and deputy director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance, Howell has written on a variety of education policy initiatives, including school vouchers, charter schools and the recent No Child Left Behind Act. He is the co-author of The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools (2002) and the editor of Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics (2005). He has also written on the presidency, and is the author of Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action (2003) and the special editor of the September 2005 edition of Presidential Studies Quarterly, which is focused on the topic of unilateral powers.

A frequent contributor to academic journals, Howell received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and went on to teach at the University of Wisconsin Madison and Harvard University. Howell was named Harvard's 2004-05 Distinguished Research Faculty Associate and C. Douglas Dillon Scholar. He is currently working with Jon Pevehouse (University of Wisconsin) on a book manuscript tentatively titled While Dangers Gather: Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers, which examines how domestic political institutions constrain the president's ability to exercise military force abroad.

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Contact

Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu