September 20, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will celebrate the opening of the exhibition "The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity" with a reception and lecture on "Josephine and Malmaison" by Bernard Chevallier, the director of the Musée de Malmaison in Rueil-Malmaison, France, at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Fund at Amherst College, Chevallier's lecture and a champagne reception afterward in the museum are free and open to the public.

A leading scholar of the First Empire, Chevallier is the author of several books on the empress. He has lectured widely on Napoleon and Josephine. His talk, "Josephine and Malmaison," will address the many interests Josephine pursued -from botany and horticulture to her gardens, the menagerie, and her collections of fine art- as she transformed the property and château of Malmaison. Once the principal residence of Napoleon and Josephine, Malmaison, located about 10 kilometers west of Paris, is now a museum devoted to the empress.

An international loan show, "The Empress Josephine: Art and Royal Identity" focuses on Napoleon's consort, "the incomparable Josephine," and explores the ways in which Josephine, like Napoleon, made use of art and patronage in the fashioning of her royal identity. It will be on view at the Mead until Dec. 18.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum's website or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.