July 23, 2007
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs

AMHERST, Mass.—Elizabeth E. Barker, director of the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University, has been named the director and chief curator of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. Her appointment became effective July 15.

As director and chief curator, Barker will oversee the care of the Mead’s collections, acquisitions, exhibitions, programs and the museum’s staff and management. She will work with faculty from across the disciplines and with students as interns, docents, artists and scholars. By reaching out to area schools and community organizations, Barker will engage residents of the Pioneer Valley in the activities and resources of the Mead.

Before coming to Colgate, Barker served as associate curator of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she began as curatorial intern in 1994. In 2000 Barker was appointed a fellow in the department of prints and drawings at the British Museum. Since 2003, she has been a guest curator at the Yale Center for British Art. Her specialty as an art historian is in 18th- and 19th-century British and American art—areas of particular strength at the Mead. She has published on topics from Italian Renaissance drawings to modern American prints and is an expert on British Enlightenment painter Joseph Wright of Derby.

Barker holds a B.A. in the history of art from Yale University. She also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where she also earned a Certificate in curatorial studies.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in the consortium of Five Colleges, Inc. as well as Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration.

The Mead is closed for construction until September 4, when it will resume its regular hours of Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information can be obtained on the museum’s Website at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. Admission is free and open to the public.