On Saturday, July 3, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will unveil the first in a series of new displays that promise to refresh every gallery in the museum before the start of the 2010-11 academic year.
“I can’t imagine a more satisfying—or more ambitious—summer project,” observed the museum’s director, Elizabeth Barker. “Thanks to the tireless, often inspired collaborations of our curators and preparator, we’re radically transforming the Mead with remarkably little expense. Happily, with an art collection as fine and as varied Amherst’s, a little elbow grease, some good ideas and a few gallons of paint go a long way.”
Following a five-week closure starting in June, the museum will reopen to visitors incrementally, beginning Independence Day weekend with a display of post-World War II art from the permanent collection in the Collins Gallery. Additional galleries will reopen as they are refurbished, at a rate of approximately one per week throughout July and August. The new displays will present art of the early 20th century in the Bassett Gallery; art of the late 19th century in the Arms Gallery; portraits from the ancient world to the Modern era and art of the Baroque era through the late 19th century in the Fairchild Galleries; images of power and kingship from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas in the Kunian Gallery; and art of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras in the Rotherwas Room. Temporary installations featuring prints by the Spanish Romantic artist Goya and works by the Russian émigré writer Joseph Brodsky will open in September in the Daniels Gallery.
The Mead’s lobby, with its café and bookshop, remains open throughout the summer and features a special computer station where visitors may take virtual, interactive tours of the new displays. Throughout the reinstallation project, the Mead remains free of charge and fully accessible.