March 16, 2009
Contact: Karen Cardinal
Accounting, Web and Marketing Manager, Mead Art Museum

AMHERST, Mass.—On Friday, March 27, at noon, Andaleeb Banta, visiting assistant professor of the history of art at Amherst College, will present a 10-minute talk on an Italian Renaissance painting, Sano di Pietro’s The Adoration of the Child with Saints Bernard and Bernardino, at the Mead Art Museum. The talk continues a new monthly series of Faculty Lunchtime Talks at the Mead that are free and open to the public.

Sienese artist Sano di Pietro (1405-1481) produced monumental altarpieces and manuscript illuminations distinguished by their detailed textures, jewel-like surfaces and sophisticated use of form and color. Working in the economic, political and cultural center of Renaissance Tuscany, Sano built upon the achievements of Sassetta, his presumed teacher, and Duccio, Siena’s celebrated medieval artist, in his use of decorative and realistic elements. 

Banta, an expert in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, received her Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and previously worked at the Morgan Library and Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vassar College and the City University of New York.  She is currently teaching courses at Amherst on the Italian Renaissance and the arts of Islamic Spain.

The Mead’s Faculty Lunchtime Talks are made possible with support from the Amherst Arts Series. For a complete schedule, visit

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 Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to midnight, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to midnight; it is closed on Mondays. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site,, or call 413/542-2335.