January 27, 2010
Contact: Karen Cardinal
Accounting, Web and Marketing Manager, Mead Art Museum

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum at AmherstCollege will welcome back to campus William H. Gerdts, an eminent historian of American art and one of the college’s most distinguished alumni in the arts, in a free public program on Thursday, March 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. Renowned particularly for his scholarship on American still life, sculpture and Impressionism, Gerdts will participate in a public conversation with Randall Griffey, curator of American art, focusing on select works in the Mead’s collection and recounting his experiences an Amherst student in the 1940s.

“We are honored and excited to bring Dr. Gerdts back home to Amherst,” said Griffey. “His affection for American art took root here at Amherst, so his life’s story highlights the Mead’s role as an incubator for art lovers and budding scholars alike.”

Professor emeritus of art history at the GraduateSchool of the City University of New York, Gerdts received his bachelor of arts degree from AmherstCollege in 1949 and his master’s and Ph. D. degrees from HarvardUniversity. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from his alma mater. Among his numerous institutional appointments and distinctions was his tenure as curator of painting and sculpture at the NewarkMuseum.

Gerdts has authored more than 25 books and many articles in addition to contributing to dozens of collaborative catalogues. Information relating to a selection of his many publications is available on the college’s Web site, at www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/magazine/bookclub/nonfiction/williamgerdts.

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 Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to midnight, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.