On View May 25 - July 30, 2017

The Return of the Prodigal Son print by Lucas van Leyden
Lucas van Leyden, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, ca. 1510. 2016.10.

From Father to Son features an array of master prints generously given to the Mead Art Museum by Dr. K. Frank Austen, Class of 1950 and an Amherst Life Trustee. The artworks not only represent six centuries of printmaking, but a personal gift originally shared by a father with his children.

Dr. Austen’s father, Dr. Karl Arnstein, was the president of engineering and a designer of airships for Goodyear Aircraft, and a great inventor. He began to collect art as a passionate hobby, seeking to nurture connections to his European origins and to deepen his understanding of the history of art. He acquired works by eminent artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Lucas van Leyden, William Hogarth, and Egon Schiele.

Dr. Arnstein divided his collection among his three surviving children, carefully curating his selection to represent his fondness for, and relationships with, them. Dr. Austen followed in his father’s footsteps, both as a scientist and an art collector. Though Dr. Austen is celebrated for his achievements in the medical field, he came to appreciate the power of art and its value alongside the sciences. 

Dr. Austen has generously donated his father’s esteemed collection to Amherst College so that his art may continue to impact students across disciplines for generations to come. 

Related Programs

Opening Reception
Thursday, May 25 at 5 p.m.
Mead Art Museum
Free & Open to the Public