“Art is the true witness of history. What people were making, how they were responding to their world. Even the materials that they use and what was available.”
About the Interviewer
Elizabeth E. Barker, Ph.D., became director and chief curator of Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum in 2007, after previously working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Yale Center for British Art, and Colgate University’s Picker Art Gallery. As a scholar, Lizzie’s publications focus on British art of the 18th and 19th centuries. As an administrator, Lizzie is leading an initiative to integrate the Mead more fully into the intellectual life of the College through fresh collaborations with faculty and students across the academic disciplines—from classics to music—involving Amherst’s encyclopedic collection of 16,000 artworks. Under Lizzie's energetic leadership, the Mead is becoming a hub of campus and community life, distinguished by new displays, scholarly publications, free public events, exceptionally late hours, and even an espresso bar.