Art for All: Additions to the
Collection from Antiquity to Today

February 8-July 7, 2013

This exhibition celebrates the recent growth of Amherst College’s art collection. The 130 paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, watercolors, ceramics, glass objects, sculptures, masks, scrolls, videos, and antiquities presented here—most on view for the first time—represent a cross-section of the more than 900 objects that have entered the Mead’s collection since 2007. As the exhibition’s title suggests, such a wide-ranging display offers something to appeal to every taste.

But the title Art for All refers not only to the diversity of the museum’s recent acquisitions but also to the spirit in which the Mead acquired them. When a museum accessions a work of art, it does far more than take physical possession of it. The museum also commits to making the artwork accessible to any curious viewer; to researching it and making the findings known; and to preserving it for the pleasure and understanding of future generations.

Given the magnitude and duration of this commitment, the Mead never makes an acquisition lightly: every object presented here has been thoughtfully evaluated to assess its quality, importance, condition, and relationship to the current—and future—collection. Nor does the museum go it alone. None of these objects could have come to Amherst without the generous gifts and bequests of the individuals named in each label of the exhibition. The Mead is deeply grateful to them all.

To provide visitors with opportunities to discover as many new acquisitions as possible, this exhibition will unfold in two parts: the first iteration remains on view through July 7, 2013; a second display, with a different title and featuring an entirely different group of artworks, will take place from August 16 to December 29, 2013.

The exhibition and series of related events have been made possible with generous support from the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund; the David W. Mesker, Class of 1953, Fund; the Charles H. Morgan Memorial Fund; and the Friends of the Mead Art Museum, with additional support from the Julia A. Whitney Foundation.