SpeedMead: Museum News in a Flash

The Mead Art Museum's behind-the-scenes Photo Journal

Click on the images below for a full-screen peek into the Mead's latest projects.
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Paper dolls      

August 26, 2014Mead friends and visitors will soon be able to play with paper-doll versions of the most memorably dressed figures in Amherst's art collection. More»


July 1, 2014—The Mead will soon be moving on up—up and down faster and easier than ever, that is, thanks to improvements to the freight elevator that carries works of art between basement storage and the public galleries. More»


May 21, 2014Great artists have to start somewhere! The Mead recently gave budding artists a nudge toward greatness, equipping children visitors to the Mead's Family Fun Day event with crayons and paper... More»

SpeedMead: print storage renovation      

April 22, 2014The Mead's print-storage room holds thousands of prints, and, as of last month, lacked sufficient space for any new print acqusitions. But after a week of renovation in March... More»


February 28, 2014—For the second year in a row, the Mead offered the January interterm course Beyond Shopping: Acquiring Art for the Mead, in which students learned the ins and outs of museum acquisitions in anticipation of the annual Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisition Project. More»


January 21, 2014—Has the dead French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau been whispering in Teresa Caputo’s ear? If you've ever seen the reality TV show Long Island Medium, a popular series in its fourth season on TLC, you may be surprised to know... More»

November 19      

November 19, 2013How many museum employees does it take to change a light bulb? At the Mead, the job of replacing burned-out bulbs falls to preparator Tim Gilfillan. And his burden has just gotten a little bit lighter. More»

Mead Banners      

October 29, 2013Finding your way to the Mead just got a little easier... This week Amherst College unfurled four bright banners to mark your approach to the museum. More»

SpeedMead Activity Totes      

September 10, 2013—Introducing Mead activity totes! The Mead now offers kid-friendly activity totes for children and their families to borrow while visiting the museum. More»


August 13, 2013One, two, three. . . LIFT! Using two chain hoists, each capable of conveying a ton of weight, art handlers from Marshall Fine Art Services lifted Amherst's newly acquired 1,400-pound Roman sarcophagus onto its specially constructed aluminum pedestal. More»


May 21, 2013Congratulations to the winners of this year's Wise Awards: Leslie Quiroz, Class of 2013, for her thesis in the Department of Art and the History of Art, Mirrors of Self-Destruction: Picasso and His Bull Figures, and Benjamin Mendez, Class of 2014, for his sculpture, Ceramic Head/Red Netting. More»

      April 23, 2013Ever since they were acquired by the Mead in 1950, the stunning portraits illustrated here have been collecting dust (metaphorically speaking) in a museum store room... More»
      February 19, 2013In January, the Mead offered the interterm course Beyond Shopping: Acquiring Art for the Mead, taught by Mead director Lizzie Barker, in which participating students learned the ins and outs of museum acquisitions... More»
      December 18, 2012—As part of the Amherst Biennial 2012, performance and installation artist Karen Dolmanisth presented a contemplative art-making performance... More»
      November 13, 2012—One hot day in July not long after lunch, the Mead's Head of Security, Heath Cummings, witnessed a strange occurrence... More»
      October 2, 2012—The Mead’s digitization team has made a fascinating discovery! A small leather-bound album, entered into the Mead’s collection in 1853 and stored in an archival box bearing the unassuming label “American Autographs,” is actually the scrapbook of Dr. Francis E. DuBois... More»
      September 4, 2012—It's been a busy summer for the Mead staff, who have been eagerly preparing for the opening of the special exhibition and its accompanying catalogue of the same name, Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination. More»
      July 24, 2012—Six docents participated in this year's Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisition Project: Annemarie Iker '12, Chen Jiang '15, Heather Lee '15, Sylvia Li '14, Lindsay Oxx '14, and Leslie Quiroz '13. More»
      June 26, 2012—Last week, the museum security staff attended a fire safety training session and learned how to use a fire extinguisher. More»
2012-05-08%20-%20Boxes       May 8, 2012—Working alongside the Mead’s Collections Manager, student intern Thea Goldring ’14 completed a month long project aimed at rehousing the Mead’s collection of antique books and manuscripts. More»
2012-3-20%20-%20Docent%20Field%20Trip       March 20, 2012—Last week, students from Amherst and Mount Holyoke College traveled to the Yale Center for British Art to learn about art conservation careers in a trip co-sponsored by the Mead and the Amherst College Career Center. More»
2012-02-21%20-%20Mead%20Renovation       February 21, 2012—The Mead has renovated before, but never quite like this! We are pleased to announce all that's new at the museum... More»
2011-12-06%20-%20William%20Blake%20Acquisition       December 6, 2011—The Mead Art Museum is delighted to announce a major forthcoming acquisition: The Raising of Jairus's Daughter by the British Romantic painter, poet, and printmaker William Blake. More»
      October 25, 2011—In conjunction with the exhibition Picturing Enlightenment: Thangka in the Mead Art Museum at Amherst Collegemonks from the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies in Ithaca, NY, worked for a period of four days in the college’s Frost Library to create a sand mandala. More»
      September 13, 2011—In preparation for the Mead’s year-long exhibition, Picturing Enlightenment: Thangka in the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, conservators from Museum Textile Services in Andover, Mass., visited the Mead to prepare the museum’s scroll paintings of Buddhist figures, or thangka, for display. More»
      August 1, 2011—Mead Art Museum is pleased to announce its latest acquisition- the painting Le Château de la Croix-Blanche à Saint Mammes (après-midi de Septembre) by Impressionist Alfred Sisley... More»
2011-06-30---Katrina-Greene       June 30, 2011—After a very successful two-year term, the Mead's first Andrew W. Mellon Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellow, Katrina Greene is leaving Amherst to begin the Direct Ph.D. program in Art History at the University of Delaware this fall... More»
2011-05-27%20-%20Docent%20Acquisition       May 27, 2011—This year's Trinkett Clark Memorial Student Acquisition Project reached an unexpected ending... More»
      April 21, 2011—As a culminating project of her year-long internship, Kendra Stern (Class of 2011), is preparing an annotated, visual essay on Latin American identities with works of art in the Mead’s collection... More» 
2011-02-18---Russian-Icons       February 18, 2011—Ethanol, sturgeon-bladder glue, Dammar gum resin, watercolor paints, cotton swabs, an iron, and recycled Amherst Student newspapers... More» 
image       January 4, 2011—As a new year begins, we invite our Friends to reflect on a successful 2010 for the Mead. More»
image       November 2, 2010—We've been framed! The Mead is thrilled to present 'new' period frames from Gill & Lagodich for masterpieces by Bartholomeus van Bassen, Childe Hassam, and Peter Paul Rubens. More» 
image       October 1, 2010—It's a tough job, but somebody had to do it: curator of American art Randy Griffey recently traveled to Paris to oversee the installation of Amherst's Monet painting at the Grand Palais. More»
image       September 10, 2010—As one of her first investigations, Angel Harrell, the new Assistant to the Director, searched high and low, near and far, for a means to secure these amusing tassels to the magnifying glasses in the Mead's Goya exhibition. More»
image       August 12, 2010—Reinstallation of the Fairchild Gallery is well underway as the museum nears the end of its summer-long makeover. More»
image       June 2, 2010—The Mead closed its doors this week to begin a top-down re-installation of each of its galleries. More»
image       May 30, 2010—During Reunion Weekend, dancers from the East Street Dance Center in Hadley and a string trio, led by Elizabeth Rose of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, performed in Moments of Grace: Ballet Meets Art at the Mead. More»
image       April 8, 2010—This afternoon, collections intern Keith Wine '12 and post-baccalaureate curatorial fellow Katrina Greene wore the museum's new Bausch & Lomb "Sight Savers" to inspect three recently-received drawings by Polish artist Zbigniew Libera. More»
image       March 8, 2010—After last month's tearful farewell to the Monet, museum staff members turned their attention  to another renowned object, the so-called Feejee mermaid. More»
image       February 12, 2010—This week, the Mead said “Au revoir, bon voyage” and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza exclaimed “Hola!” to Claude Monet's Morning on the Seine, Giverny. More»
image       January 26, 2010—In response to the crisis in Haiti, a special installation of Haitian artworks from the Mead's collection went on view this week. More»
image       January 8, 2010—A new year! New finials! The Mead's desk-and-bookcase, attributed to Nathaniel Gould, received historically accurate replacements for two of its three finials today. More»
Fossil Fish       December 4, 2009—This fossil fish from the collection of the Museum of Natural History comes from the same rock formations featured in Thomas Moran's painting Green River of Wyoming currently on display at the Mead. More»
Annual Report       November 30, 2009—This month, the Mead published its annual report for the academic year 2008-09. More»
Pumpkin       October 30, 2009—For today's weekly meeting, the Docents gathered in the Mead's Neuhoff sculpture courtyard for a little bit of pumpkin-carving,  s'more-making, and socializing. More»
      October 8, 2009—Today, the Mead's preparator Tim Gilfillan will add a very large mat to Closed Ward #14 (The Three Beds), an etching and aquatint by the late artist Michael Mazur, Class of 1957. More»
image       September 14, 2009—When lying flat on a table, larger works on paper can be a bit cumbersome to view. So today, post-baccalaureate curatorial fellow Katrina Greene was excited to test one of the study room's new table easels. More»
image       September 3, 2009—For Orientation week, both new and returning students were invited to participate in the museum's Orientation Mini-Course. More»
image       August 5, 2009—Collections Manager Stephen Fisher and Collections Intern Ashley Hogan '11 have been scanning up a storm with the Mead's new EPSON EXPRESSION 10000 XL. More»
image       July 27, 2009—Today, preperator Tim Gilfillan finished hanging several works by George Bellows. Adjacent to Robert Henri's Salome and Stuart Davis's The Music Hall, the display offer a slice of the "Ashcan school." More»
      July 8, 2009—Assistant Collections Manager, Inga Stevens, fired up the study room's new microscope today. More»
      June 19, 2009—This week, Faculty members from the Five Colleges were invited to partake in the Mead's first Mellon-funded Faculty Course-Developement Seminar. More»
      May 23, 2009—American abstract artist Frank Stella, awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by Amherst College at the 2009 Commencement, spoke with Mead visitors and curators about his life and art during a special reception held at the museum following his public lecture in a nearby auditorium. More»
image       May 1, 2009—Finally, after nearly a week of overcast weather, it was dry enough to install Stearns Steeple's shiny new plaque! More»
image       April 14, 2009—This week, the Mead partnered with SAFE (Saving Antiquities for Everyone) and the ICAE (Iraqi Children's Art Exchange) as part of a global observance marking the six-year anniversary of the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. More»
      March 17, 2009—Besides featuring a selection of fifteen beautiful etchings, engravings, and woodcuts, a new exhibition in the Rotherwas Room, Hendrick Goltzius’s ‘Life of the Virgin’: Surpassing Tradition, debuts an exciting new framing mechanism invented by preparator Tim Gilfillan. More»
image       March 8, 2009—The Docents got up bright and early this Sunday for an all-day field trip to The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art, and MASS MoCA. More»
image       February 12, 2009—Today marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, and the Mead is celebrating by exhibiting a little-known work of folk art: a so-called Feejee mermaid that came to Amherst College in the nineteenth century, possibly as an object for discussion in the teaching of Natural History. More»
      January 16, 2009—The Daniels gallery got a fresh coat of paint today in preparation for a new display of Russian icon paintings. More»
      December 3, 2008—Sophomores Max Kaisler and Matthew Cosby of the college's Marsh Arts House organized and hosted the first No-Mic Open-Mic Poetry Reading. More»
      November 6, 2008—This week saw the reinstallation of the Mead's collection of Greek coins in the Kunian Gallery. Visitors enjoyed the coins with magnifying glasses, and learned more during Whispering Coins: Echoes of Classical Greece. More»
      October 24, 2008—Stearns Steeple is open! The Mead's striking Gothic Revival neighbor—the only remains of Stearns (or "College") Church, which stood on the site from 1873 to 1949—opened its doors to the public today as part of the 2008 Family Weekend celebration. More»
      October 6, 2008—Professor Betsey Garand brought her printmaking class to the museum this week for a matting and framing demonstration with the Mead's preparator Tim Gilfillan. More»
      September 18, 2008—As part of the New Faculty Museum Orientation, Mead director Lizzie Barker discusses a selection of paintings in a museum storeroom. More»
      August 20, 2008—Mead staffers Tim Gilfillan, Teddy O'Connor, Inga Stevens, and Stephen Fisher with professional photographers Jim Gipe and Stephen Petegorsky '75 photographing portraits in Johnson Chapel as part of a major collection digitization project. More»