Jane H. Wald Named Executive Director of Emily Dickinson Museum

August 4, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens has announced that its Board of Governors has promoted Jane H. Wald to executive director, effective July 1. Formerly director of resources and collections, she has been with the museum since the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic houses associated with the poet Emily Dickinson, merged in 2003. Wald’s promotion represents a slight shift in the museum’s administrative structure and comes on the heels of the announcement by the board of the successful conclusion of its capital campaign and the completion of its master plan. Wald will continue her oversight of resources and collections while assuming new challenges of securing greater funding for the museum’s growing needs and implementing the initiatives outlined in the master plan.

Wald has served since 2004 as the museum’s co-director with Cindy Dickinson, director of programming and interpretation. Dickinson will continue in her role of developing and guiding the museum’s expanding array of tours and programs for the public.

Wald graduated from Bryn Mawr College, studied historical archaeology at the College of William and Mary and received a graduate degree in American history from Princeton University. Prior to her tenure at the Emily Dickinson Museum, Wald served as assistant director of development and marketing at Old Sturbridge Village and director of The Evergreens, under the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust. Upon the merger of the Homestead and The Evergreens in 2003, she became the museum’s associate director.

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. For more information about the museum, please call 413/542-8161 or visit the Emily Dickinson Museum’s website.

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Clearer Skies Ahead: Amherst College Students, Faculty and Staff are Driving “Zipcars”

August 31, 2006
Contact:
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 6, students, faculty and staff at Amherst College will have two fewer reasons to drive an inefficient private car on campus: a pair of brand-new Toyota Priuses, offered by Zipcar, the country’s largest car-sharing company. The gas-electric hybrid vehicles will reduce air pollution, decrease the number of cars on campus, reduce parking demand and provide convenient low-cost access to vehicles for students without cars.

After the college purchased two hybrid college fleet vehicles last year in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, Jim Brassord, the director of facilities management and planning at Amherst, decided that only hybrid Zipcars made sense. “We will add more Zipcars if the response is as enthusiastic as we expect from the environmentally and financially savvy Amherst College community,” says Brassord. The hybrid Priuses, which also feature XM Satellite Radio, will be conveniently parked in front of the Keefe Campus Center.

Amherst is one of three colleges nationwide that offers Zipcar access to all students aged 18 or older. Twenty-four hours a day and up to a year in advance, Zipcar members will be able to reserve a car online or by telephone. To become a member, a student, faculty member or staff member must complete an online application. Once approved by the company, he or she will receive a “Zipcard” that provides automated access to unlock and drive any Zipcar. A separate gas card is in the car’s visor. The company pays for gas, and the expense is built into the rental cost. The hourly rate for a car is $7; the daily rate is $55.

Starting with 22 cars in 1999, Zipcar now has 1,700, and estimates that each Zipcar eliminates the need for more than 20 privately owned vehicles. With more than 65,000 members and 1,700 vehicles nationwide, Zipcar estimates that it has taken 20,000 vehicles “off the road.”

Amherst College is committed to the practice of sustainability: meeting its needs for energy while preserving the ecological, social and economic systems which we all rely upon. In steps both great and small, the college tries to reduce the amount of energy consumed and the impact on the environment.

In order to burn fewer fossil fuels in college vehicles and to reduce carbon emissions, Amherst already has two hybrid vehicles in its pool. Amherst has replaced large passenger vans with mini-vans that use less gas. All heavy equipment has been converted to “bio-diesel,” a clean-burning fuel derived from agricultural products.

Even in the construction of buildings, Amherst is thinking about sustainability. Whenever possible—as when some of the oldest campus structures, North and South College, Morris Pratt and Morrow Dormitories, Appleton and Williston Hall and Charles Pratt, the geology building which is being converted to a dormitory, needed extensive modernization—existing structures are preserved and rebuilt from the inside out.

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Former CIA Chief John Deutch ’60 To Speak at Amherst College Sept. 12

August 31, 2006
Contact:
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—John Deutch, Amherst College Class of ’60 and the former director of the CIA, will speak on “America’s Energy Future” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, in Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Victor S. Johnson 1882-1943 Lectureship Fund, Deutch’s talk is free and open to the public.

An institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Deutch has been a member of the M.I.T. faculty since 1970. He has published technical papers in physical chemistry, technology, energy, international security and public policy issues, and served in significant government and academic posts throughout his career. In May 1995, Deutch was sworn in as director of Central Intelligence, a position he held until December 1996. Earlier, Deutch had served as the deputy secretary of defense and undersecretary of defense for acquisitions and technology, and in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Deutch has served on the President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee (1980-81), the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces (1983), the White House Science Council (1985-89), the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (1997-2001), the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (1990-93), the President’s Commission on Aviation Safety and Security (1996), the Commission on Reducing and Protecting Government Secrecy (1996) and as chairman of the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (1998-99).

Deutch has received fellowships and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1978), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Research Fellow 1967-69) and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (Memorial Fellow 1974-75). He has received Public Service Medals from the Department of Energy (1980), the Department of State (1980), the Department of Defense (1994 and 1995), the Department of the Army (1995), the Department of the Navy (1995), the Department of the Air Force (1995) and the Coast Guard (1995). He has also received the Central Intelligence Distinguished Intelligence Medal (1996) and the Intelligence Community Distinguished Intelligence Medal (1996).

After receiving a B.A. in history and economics from Amherst College, Deutch earned the B.S. degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from M.I.T. He holds honorary degrees from Amherst College, University of Lowell and Northeastern University. He serves as director for the following publicly held companies: Citigroup, Cummins, Raytheon and Schlumberger Ltd. He is a trustee of Resources for the Future, the Urban Institute and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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“George Bellows: A Ringside Seat” at Mead Art Museum and “George Bellows: A Family Festival” at Amherst College Archives Sept. 5

August 31, 2006
Contact:
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will present “George Bellows: A Ringside Seat” from Sept. 5 through Dec. 10. In conjunction with this exhibition, the Archives and Special Collections at the Amherst College Library will host “George Bellows: A Family Festival.” These exhibitions are devoted to the early 20th-century American artist George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925). His remarkable oeuvre offers a ringside seat into his life as it represents an intrinsic synthesis between the artist, his choice of subjects and his particular vehicles for expression.

The Mead will host several events in conjunction with these exhibitions.

  • Marianne Doezema, Florence Finch Abbott Director at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, will give a talk at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, in Stirn Auditorium, titled “Realism and Resonance: The Urban Landscape in George Bellows’ Art.” A reception will follow at the Archives and Special Collections at the Robert Frost Library.
  • At 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, in the Fairchild Gallery, Trinkett Clark, the curator of American art at the Mead, and Daria D’Arienzo, the head of archives and special collections at the Robert Frost Library, will give a talk on “George Bellows and His Circle of Friends.”
  • At 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, in the Fairchild Gallery, Billy T. McBride, coach of football and women’s basketball at Amherst, will give a talk titled “Through the Ropes,” about boxing and the Bellows images.

All events are free and open to the public.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Bellows studied with the painter Robert Henri in New York. A leading force in the New York art world, Henri encouraged his students to render their urban environment with candor and bravura, depicting both the grit and the glory of their surroundings. Whether he worked on canvas or on paper, Bellows captured the world he inhabited with honesty and integrity. His choice of unconventional subjects chronicled the changing social fabric of America and linked the artist with his contemporaries; for their straightforward portrayals of everyday life, these artists were dubbed the “Ashcan School” by some of their harsher critics.

Throughout his life Bellows rendered family and friends with great candor and sympathy; his poignant portraits reveal an intimate side to the artist that is both compassionate and humorous. Many of his most striking portraits were of his wife, Emma, and their two daughters, Anne and Jean.
Bellows found inspiration in his surroundings and depicted the verdant, pastoral countryside in various seasons and volatile climates.

Bellows was an athlete of some note, having played baseball for a semi-professional baseball team before concentrating on his artistic prowess, and recorded athletic events; boxing became an ideal theme as it allowed him to show the power and grace of the human form as he underscored the spectacle of the sport with the drama and energy that emanated from the ring.

Perhaps the most revolutionary of Bellows’ contributions was his willingness to explore the new urban environment, celebrating the commonplace in all of its grit and glory. He embraced subjects that had social punch, such as the hardscrabble life of the slum dweller, the unorthodox prayer meetings of the religious fanatic Billy Sunday, and the atrocities of the first World War indeed, the war provided compelling fodder for a potent and graphic series of paintings and lithographs produced in 1918.

Bellows’ paintings display a vibrant palette and lively, expressionistic brushwork, while his drawings and prints demonstrate his proficiency as a draftsman and printmaker. His incisive scenes of life in the urban tenement provide passionate vignettes that probe social injustices, the agonies of war and other socio-political issues.

Amherst College and the Mead Art Museum are fortunate to possess extensive holdings of work by George Bellows, including his personal papers and memorabilia which are housed in the Archives and Special Collections at the Amherst College Library. Using material from both of these rich resources, and augmented with loans from nearby museums and collections, “George Bellows: A Ringside Seat” consists of four themes that Bellows explored in his work: Sights and Sounds (the artist’s rural and urban surroundings); Through the Ropes (sporting images, particularly in the boxing ring); The Changing World (social and political issues); and The Artist’s Circle (portraits of family and friends, along with material selected by Daria D’Arienzo, head of archives and special collections at Amherst). The exhibition, publication and related events are supported by the Charles Morgan Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

In conjunction with the Mead’s exhibition, the Archives and Special Collections at the Amherst College Library will host a satellite exhibition titled “George Bellows: A Family Festival.” Curated by Daria D’Arienzo, head of Archives and Special Collections at Amherst, this exhibition will feature material drawn from the George Wesley Bellows Papers and The Charles H. Morgan Papers on George Wesley Bellows in the Amherst College Library. “George Bellows: A Family Festival” will present an insightful perspective into Bellows’ life. Though famous as an artist, Bellows did not create an “artistic persona,” but remained true to himself. His engaging personality is reflected in this exhibition through memorabilia from the artist’s youth, scrapbooks, family photographs, manuscript letters between Bellows and his circle of family and friends and the creative work of the Bellows daughters (especially their childhood magazines, The Enjoyer and The Storyteller). This exhibition will offer an intimate view into the life of Bellows and his immediate and extended family, including friends and colleagues, and explore their role in the evolution of the artist’s career. Together, these two exhibitions provide a remarkable opportunity to learn more about George Bellows and his inspirations.

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. Additional information is available on the museum’s Website, or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. The Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, located in the Robert Frost Library, are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission and all events are free and open to the public.

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Amherst College Community Service Orientation Program Aug. 29 to Sept. 1

August 28, 2006
Contact:
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—At Amherst College 35 first-year students, 10 student trip leaders, and two trip coordinators will take part in an intense three-day, three-night trip, staying in a community center in the heart of Holyoke, where they will participate in service activities, presentations and in interactive workshops that raise awareness about community empowerment, poverty and institutional racism. These trips are the first chance that students have to begin building relationships with non-profit organizations, community organizers and activists and educators in the Pioneer Valley. On Friday, Sept. 1, all 45 trip leaders and participants, with Amherst College Outreach Office staff Scott Laidlaw, Karen M. Lee and Maggie Mattaini ’09 and Jen Roberge ’07, the student trip coordinators, will work on a farm run by Nuestras Raices, an organization dedicated to community development in Holyoke, through projects relating to food, agriculture and the environment.

Each afternoon, small groups of students will head to a variety of sites in the Holyoke area—such as the YMCA, the Food Bank Farm, Soldiers’ Home, Habitat for Humanity, Girls Inc., Providence Ministries and Nuestras Raices—to learn about the organization and do service work in the community. For example, among other work, they will be building houses, painting murals, harvesting vegetables, sorting through donations at a food pantry and hosting an ice cream social for war veterans.

The trip aims to introduce new students to Holyoke as an example of a dynamic community coming together and working creatively to address its problems. Within the context of Holyoke, students will engage in dialogue about the relationship of college students with communities in need and explore how students can be involved in these communities with mutual respect, commitment and beneficence.

Fifteen miles south of Amherst, Holyoke was the first planned city in the U.S. and once a thriving industrial center. The city experienced a major economic downturn between 1945 and the 1970s due to deindustrialization. Along with the closure of factories and mills came significant job losses and major economic and social hardships. According to a census in 2000, Holyoke is one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts, and the median household income is $30,441.

In the summer Amherst College received a philanthropic investment of more than $13 million from the Argosy Foundation to establish a Center for Community Engagement, which, says Anthony W. Marx, the president of the college, “will encourage the integration of ideals and action by drawing hundreds of Amherst students into community service through linked curricular and co-curricular programs. Amherst aims to graduate thoughtful and active citizens—men and women who not only care deeply about the pressing problems facing our society today, but also have the skills, experience and determination to create positive change in their communities.” Noting Amherst’s long history of support for a range of nonprofits in the Pioneer Valley, Marx added, “We are all enthusiastic at the prospect of strengthening Amherst's partnerships with organizations serving our community and of forging new relationships with nonprofits further afield. Our students are eager to learn from those who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”

Last year, one in four Amherst students volunteered locally as mentors or tutors to children in area public schools, at domestic-violence prevention programs, hospitals and other valuable community organizations.

In addition to the work, community members and student leaders will facilitate interactive discussions, workshops and panels on such subjects such as equality in education, youth empowerment and the cycle of poverty.

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Contact

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