Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

December 14, 2007
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College Museum of Natural History, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Mead Art Museum will have extended public hours during Amherst College’s winter academic recess, Dec. 22, 2007 through Jan. 25, 2008. “We are delighted to announce this new collaborative initiative among the college’s three museums, which is intended to help us better serve our audiences throughout the Pioneer Valley,” explained Jane H. Wald, director of the Emily Dickinson Museum. “It’s our holiday gift to the community,” added Tekla Harms, director of the Natural History Museum. “Museums offer such a wonderful range of family experiences—places for people of all ages to look together, laugh together and explore,” commented Elizabeth Barker, director of the Mead. “I’d love it if Amherst College’s museums helped create a few family memories this holiday season.”

The Museum of Natural History will be open to the public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 26 through Dec. 30, and then closed Dec. 31 through Jan. 7. It will reopen for its regular hours—Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.—starting Jan. 8. Housed within the college’s Earth Sciences and Museum of Natural History Building, the museum contains the collections of the former Pratt Museum. The natural history collections at Amherst include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, dinosaur trackways, minerals and other geologic specimens acquired through expeditions, exchanges, donations and purchases from the 1830s to the present. The geologic history of the Connecticut Valley region is highlighted. The museum has a Web site at

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. “Interest in Emily Dickinson is clearly on the rise. We see extended hours as an excellent opportunity to encourage this interest and better connect with the year-round residents of the Amherst area and beyond,” says Wald. Located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, just north of the campus, the Emily Dickinson Museum will be open Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. There is no charge for admission to the museum’s tour center, which includes the exhibit my Verse is alive, recounting the posthumous publication of Dickinson’s poetry. Guided tours of The Homestead and The Evergreens will be offered between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; tour admission fees range from $3 to $8. After Dec. 30, the museum will be closed until March 1, 2008. For more information, visit

The Mead Art Museum holds an encyclopedic collection of more than 16,000 works of art and is distinguished for its American and European old masters, ancient Assyrian carvings, African sculpture, Japanese prints and Mexican ceramics. Five galleries display fresh selections from the permanent collection, while three galleries feature the following special exhibitions: A Room with a View: The Photography of Abelardo Morell, Amherst College Portraits: Wendy Ewald/Brett Cook Collaborative Project (both on view through Jan. 25, 2008) and Chuck Close: Self-Portrait/Scribble/Etching Portfolio, 2000 (on view through March 18, 2008.) The museum is free, fully accessible and open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays until 9 p.m. The Mead will be closed Dec. 25 to 26, 2007 and Jan. 1, 2008. To learn more, visit (Images of Guidoccio Cozzarelli’s Madonna and Child with Angels and Thomas Birch’s Winter Scene, Pennsylvania are available upon request.)

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