November 4, 2010

AMHERST, Mass.—On Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 4:30 p.m., Natasha Staller, professor of the history of art, will give a gallery talk at the Mead Art Museum related to the exhibition Goya: Prints of Darkness. The presentation will draw upon Professor Staller’s research for her forthcoming book, The Spanish Monster.

The 22 aquatints presented in the exhibition belong to Los Caprichos, an 80-print series satirizing human follies first published in 1799 by the Spanish Romantic painter and printmaker Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. Goya’s compelling scenes of grotesque, vacuou, and monstrous figures rapidly proved controversial—and successful on an international scale. The Mead’s set, donated by Edward C. Crossett (Class of 1905), dates to 1803, the year in which the artist gave his printing plates to Carlos IV, King of Spain, in exchange for funds to support the education of Goya’s son.

“Professor Staller’s compelling research on representations of the ‘monster’ in Spanish art have made her classes deservedly popular at Amherst College,” observed the museum’s director and chief curator Elizabeth Barker. “It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to share her insights with other museum visitors through the exhibition and her related gallery talk.”

Goya: Prints of Darkness is supported by the Collins Print Fund, the David W. Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund, and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

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 Tuesday through Saturday 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,, or call 413/542-2335.