January 27, 2010
Contact: Pamela Russell
Coordinator of College Programs
413/542 8229

AMHERST, Mass. —The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will host a series of afternoon gallery talks by six Amherst College professors—all experts in fields other than art history—focused on the theme of “Reading the Picture: Exploring Connections Between Painting and Literature” on the Thursday afternoons of Feb. 4 and 18, March 4 and 25 and April 8 and 22. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, promise to bring fresh perspectives on how particular literary works relate to individual paintings.

The pieces to be discussed, all from the Mead’s collection, span four centuries and were made by artists in Europe and America. “In some cases, the painting serves almost as a literal illustration of the text; in others, the painting and the work of literature may only share a common source of inspiration,” explained Pamela Russell, the Mead’s Andrew W. Mellon Coordinator of College Programs and the series’ organizer. “But in every instance, the comparison of visual and textual manifestations of a common theme rewards close attention.”

The schedule of the gallery talks and lecturers is as follows:

•      Feb. 4, 1 p.m.—“Edward Hicks’s Peaceable Kingdom and the Book of Isaiah,” Susan Niditch, Samuel Green Professor of Religion

•      Feb. 18, 4:30 p.m.—“Anjelica Kauffmann’s The Return of Telemachus and Homer’s Odyssey,” Dale Sinos, visiting professor of classics

•      March 4, 1 p.m.—“Giacinto Gimignani’s Narcissus and Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” Christopher Trinacty, Robert E. Keiter ’57 Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

•      March 25, 4:30 p.m.—“Thomas Dicksee’s Ophelia and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet,” Anston Bosman, associate professor of English

•      April 8, 1 p.m.—“Thomas Cole’s The Past and The Present and Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe,” Allen Guttmann, Emily C. Jordan Folger Professor of English and American Studies

•      April 22, 4:30 p.m.—“Salomes of Robert Henri and of Oscar Wilde,” John Cameron, professor of English

A complete schedule of the museum’s spring events is posted on the Mead’s Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/programs. The MeadArt Museum houses the art collection of AmherstCollege, 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 Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.