Ernest Haskell exhibition events

Events and Dates:

Mirror of Goddess by Ernest HaskellThursday, March 24, 4:30 p.m., Opening gallery talk and reception

Sunday, March 27, 4:00 p.m., Public conversation with Katrina Greene and Haskell collector Cheryl Vogel

Onward, Bound:  a two-part sketchbook workshop:
Saturday, April 2, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
, Introductory lecture and sketchbook tutorial
Saturday, April 16, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
, Closing discussion and reception

The opening of the exhibition, How He Was to His Talents: The Work of Ernest Haskell, at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum on Thursday, March 24th, will jump-start a diverse series of related events. On Thursday, March 24th, at 4:30 p.m., exhibition curator Katrina Greene will mark the show’s opening with a gallery talk addressing the prints, drawings, and watercolors of this remarkable turn-of-the-century American artist; the talk will be followed by a reception. On Sunday, March 27th, at 4:00 p.m., Ms. Greene will join Haskell collector Cheryl Vogel for a public conversation about their experiences researching the life and work of this elusive artist. Both talks will take place at the Mead, and are free and open to the public.

In April, Ms. Greene will lead “Onward/Bound,” a two-part workshop celebrating a sketchbook featured in the exhibition. Participants will adopt lessons from Haskell’s self-directed study by making drawings, doodles, and diagrams in replicas of the artist’s sketchbook. During the first session, on Saturday, April 2nd, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., participants will consider the value of drawing as a learning tool through a series of activities in the museum. Participants will then have two weeks to make entries in their sketchbooks. On Saturday, April 16th, they will reconvene in the museum to share insights and discoveries in an open discussion, followed by a reception. Readers interested in participating in the two-part workshop are encouraged to register in advance by contacting Ms. Greene at kgreene@amherst.edu.

All of these events relate to the special exhibition, How He Was to His Talents, a survey of the accomplishments of the self-taught American illustrator and printmaker Ernest Haskell (1876-1925). Drawn entirely from the Mead’s sizeable collection—which received a generous donation from the artist’s daughter, Josephine Haskell Aldridge, in memory of her husband, Richard Aldridge (Amherst College Class of 1952) in 1996—the exhibition offers a fresh look at one of the most skilled American craftsman of the early twentieth century. The first retrospective of Haskell’s work in more than a generation, How He Was to His Talents combines a close technical analysis of Haskell’s works with an assessment of their historical context. Extensive original research demonstrates the breadth of Haskell’s social and artistic impact for the first time.

The exhibition, on view fromMarch 24th through August 7th, 2011, also marks the culmination of the museum’s first Andrew W. Mellon Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellowship, a highly competitive two-year fellowship that provides a selected Five College graduate with the opportunity to undertake substantive museum work involving the Mead’s collection. Katrina Greene (Smith College Class of 2008) began her full-time research into the work of Ernest Haskell shortly after beginning of her Fellowship in July 2009. Museum director and chief curator Elizabeth Barker notes, “Katrina’s discoveries about Haskell, and her countless other contributions to the curatorial work of the Mead, have proven even more valuable than we’d imagined at the time we established this ambitious Fellowship program. All of us at the museum feel honored not only to be able to share the fruits of her research with our visitors, but also to have played a role in helping to launch this promising young scholar in her future career.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, written by Ms. Greene, which will be available for sale in the museum’s bookshop, and via its Web site,  www.amherst.edu/mead, beginning on March 24th.  The publication of the catalogue has been supported by the Wise Fund for Fine Arts.

The exhibition is made possible by generous support from the Collins Print Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund. 

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site, www.amherst.edu/mead, or call 413/542-2335.