March 26, 2010
Contact: Karen Cardinal
Accounting, Web and Marketing Manager, Mead Art Museum

AMHERST, Mass.—On Friday, March 26, AmherstCollege’s MeadArt Museum will open an installation of works on paper, paintings and sculptures of the 1950s and 60s donated and bequeathed from the collection of Richard S. Zeisler, a member of the college’s Class of 1937.

The installation—which is titled “The Magic of Signs: American and European Art of the 1950s and 60s from the Collection of Richard S. Zeisler ’37” presents European and American works and features artists Josef Albers, Mary Bauermeister, Ilya Bolotowsky, Eduardo Chillida, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Niki de Saint Phalle, whose artistic approaches in the pieces exhibited at the Mead range from geometrical abstraction to colorful sensuality. Among the pieces on display are Bolotowsky’s Double Column, Red, Blue and Yellow (1972), which refers to modernist abstraction, for example, Chillida’s Plaque #4 (1958), which reminds the viewer of calligraphic signs and Saint Phalle’s You Are My Bird (1968), which evokes a whimsical fairy tale.

In general, the Zeisler collection focuses on sculpture stimulating the senses with its diverse styles and materials encompassing wood, stone, metal, glass and polyester. All works demonstrate a common interest in the impact of ambiguous forms and sign systems. In this way, all of the 13 artworks presented invite visitors to engage with the magical world of their signs and explore their sense.

The exhibition will be open through June. A free gallery talk will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, by the curator of the installation Bettina Jungen, Thomas P. Whitney, Class of 1937, Curator of Russian Art. To learn more about the installation and Zeisler’s collection, please visit

The free exhibition is supported by the David W. Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

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,, or call 413/542-2335.