Through British Eyes: British Art at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College Jan. 23 to Aug. 26

December 7, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - Works by British artists from the 17th century to the present are featured in "Through British Eyes: British Art at the Mead" on view at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College from Tuesday, Jan. 23, to Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. Drawn exclusively from the Mead’s permanent collection, the works in this exhibition reflect the breadth and depth of the museum’s British holdings, one of the strengths of its European collection. From the stately 17th-century decorative paneled interior permanently installed in the Rotherwas Room in the Mead to the contemporary drawings of the environmental sculptor David Nash, the exhibition showcases a variety of media, including paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs and decorative arts.

Lord Jeffery Amherst is represented in portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Other distinguished masters of this essential British genre include George Beare, Francis Cotes, John Hoppner, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Allan Ramsay, Sir Henry Raeburn and Richard Wilson. In addition to portraiture, the exhibition presents historical and literary subjects, Romantic landscape paintings and works exemplifying the British watercolor tradition. This roster of artists includes Thomas Barker of Bath, David Cox, Thomas Francis Dicksee, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Edward Lear, Charles Robert Leslie, John Linnell, John Martin, George Morland, James Sant and John Varley.

Outstanding examples of 18th-and 19th-century mezzotints by James Watson, Valentine Green and David Lucas after Constable; satirical engravings and etchings by William Hogarth, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson; and Blake’s celebrated illustrations of the Book of Job are among the rich variety of prints on display. (Due to the length of the show, works on paper will be shown in rotating selections.)

Among the 20th-century artists represented are Bill Brandt, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney and Henry Moore.

Related events include a gallery talk at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, in the Fairchild Gallery, by Carol Solomon Kiefer, curator of European art at the Mead. Reynolds’s "Portrait of Sir Jeffery Amherst" will be the focus of a lecture titled "Jeffery Amherst and the American Way of War" by Kevin Sweeney, professor of American Studies and history at Amherst College, at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 30, in the Fairchild Gallery.

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.

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Emily Dickinson Museum Celebrates the Poet’s Birthday Dec. 9

December 1, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— The Emily Dickinson Museum will host its annual Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, to celebrate the anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s birth (Dec. 10, 1830). Continuing a beloved tradition, the first 176 guests to the museum will receive a rose offered by an anonymous donor in honor of the poet. The event is free and open to the public.

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s 11th annual “At Home” celebration will include self-guided tours of the Homestead and The Evergreens, parlor music by fiddler Steven Howland and dulcimer player Tim Van Egmond, a poetry reading and special cakes from Dickinson family recipes. In addition, visitors will be invited to create a holiday ornament at the Homestead for the Christmas tree in the parlor of The Evergreens.

Steven Howland has played the fiddle since the early 1980s, inspired by traditional New England-style music and dance. He is a regular caller of contra dances throughout the region. Tim Van Egmond is an accomplished hammered dulcimer player and a member of the contra dance band Swallowtail. He has appeared on National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The museum has a separate board of governors and, with limited support from the college, is expected to fund its operating and capital improvement objectives independently. From November through December 6 the museum is open Wednesday and Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed mid-December through March 1. The Emily Dickinson Museum is a member of Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums in the Pioneer Valley. For more information about the museum, please call 413/542-8161 or visit the museum's website.

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Writer Janwillem van de Wetering To Speak at Amherst College Dec. 5

December 1, 2006
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.— Mystery novelist and Zen enthusiast Janwillem van de Wetering will discuss his first book, The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Religion Department, the event is free and open to the public.

The Empty Mirror, written in 1973, chronicles the author’s exploration of Zen as a young man and one of the first Western students of the spiritual practice in Kyoto, Japan. Writing in an honest and often humorous style, van de Wetering reflects on his struggles with the customs and philosophies of the Zen practice, and offers a rare perspective into the experience of existing within a spiritual environment completely new to him. The author has been praised for his quick wit and sincerity, and Time magazine raves that “What makes this account extraordinary is that the book contains none of the convert’s irritating certitude.”

Born in Rotterdam, van de Wetering has lived and studied all over the world, including South Africa, Japan, London, Columbia, Peru, Australia, and Holland. His studies of philosophy and the Zen religion led him to write two follow-ups to The Empty MirrorA Glimpse of Nothingness and AfterZen. In addition, he has written fiction, nonfiction and children’s books in several languages, gaining international acclaim for his “Amsterdam Cops” series, about the intriguing Dutch detective pair Grijpstra and de Gier. He has served on the Amsterdam Special Constabulary, and now lives with his wife in northern Maine.

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Office Communications
(413) 542-2321
comm@amherst.edu


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