The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College seeks to stimulate thought, inspire creativity, provide insight, interrogate preconceptions, and invite contemplation through interaction with the original works of art that the Mead collects, researches, interprets, exhibits, publishes, and preserves.

To realize its mission, the Mead Art Museum:

  • makes its collections available to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Amherst College, and to visitors from around the world
  • develops innovative exhibitions drawn primarily from the permanent collection and linked meaningfully to the curriculum and to the wider intellectual life of Amherst College
  • engages faculty, students, and other visitors in fresh, sometimes interdisciplinary inquiries involving art and visual understanding
  • produces original, engaging, academically rigorous publications


The Mead strives to become an essential, integrated participant in the intellectual and cultural life of Amherst College; a leader among college and university art museums; and a destination for a diverse range of visitors from around the world.


The Mead grounds all of its activities in the unique experience of original works of art, which offer irreproducible insights into the human condition.

The Mead endeavors to meet the highest professional, academic, and ethical standards in all of its activities, policies, and procedures.

The Mead is committed to providing the best possible experiences for its various audiences, and to undertaking rigorous and regular self-assessment to ensure its ongoing advancement.

The Mead seeks to act rapidly to realize new ideas that serve its mission, and by extension, the educational mission of Amherst College.

The Mead strives continuously to test fresh ideas and implement improvements.

The Mead aims to present art representing a wide range of cultures and historical periods; to offer a rich array of interpretative and educational programs; and to cultivate an environment in which visitors from all backgrounds feel welcome.

The Mead recognizes its responsibility to make the art collection of Amherst College available in person, in print, and in new electronic media to its audiences, and to make its facility accessible to many types of visitors, including people with disabilities.

The Mead pursues its activities in a spirit of intellectual curiosity, always testing received ideas and seeking new understanding.