News of the recent anonymous gift of more than 170 works of contemporary art to the Mead Art Museum hit the art world and beyond this week. Pieces in The Boston Globe, Artnews, Artforum, WBUR and more celebrated the acquisition, which includes works by established artists such as Mona Hatoum, David Hockney, Thomas Ruff, and Cindy Sherman, and number of pieces by a diverse roster of artists from across the United States and around the world such as Dario Escobar, Toba Khedoori, Robin Rhode, and Analia Saban.
“It can be rough out there for museums affiliated with small liberal arts colleges,” wrote The Observer. “No matter how much time and effort is sunk into establishing fantastic facilities and organizing stimulating exhibitions, it’s an unfortunate truth that way more capital and press attention is going to flow towards huge museums in major metropolitan areas. Sometimes, though, a windfall appears out of nowhere.”
“To be able to get that scope of work has a tremendous impact on us, and the quality as well,” David E. Little, director and chief curator of the Mead Art Museum, told The Boston Globe.
“He’s looking forward to the opportunities for students to interact with the works as research resources for projects, and he says he hopes to invite many of the living artists in the collection to speak on campus,” the Globe wrote. “With a student body around 45 percent composed of students of color, Amherst College should offer students access to artwork that speaks to them, Little believes. He hopes this gift will help make that goal a reality.”
UPDATE: WWLP-22News (Springfield, Mass.) recently devoted a piece to the gift.
“One thing that’s really important about this recent gift and about all of our acquisitions at the Mead is that we try to have our art be representative of today’s students,” Marketing and Public Programs Specialist Danielle Amodeo told 22News.