Mead Art Museum to Host Benefit for the Victims of the December 2009 Northampton Fires March 9

February 25, 2010

AMHERST, Mass.—On Tuesday, March 9, at 8 p.m., the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will host a concert benefiting the victims of the December 2009 Northampton arson fires in the museum’s historic Rotherwas Room.

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Mead Art Museum to Show First American Museum Exhibition of Lino Mannocci Paintings Aug. 28

August 19, 2009
Contact: Karen Cardinal
Accounting, Web and Marketing Manager, Mead Art Museum
413/542-2551


AMHERST, Mass.—On Friday, Aug. 28, Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum will open Lino Mannocci: Sea, Sky, Smoke, the first exhibition of work by the critically acclaimed contemporary Italian artist to be held in a North American museum.

History of Homes

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History Professor Kevin Sweeney points out architectural details on the Dickinson Homestead.

History professor Kevin Sweeney is a historian of “material culture” which involves researching archeological sites, estate sale records, wills and census reports to uncover clues about consumption and use of goods ranging from food to furniture to firearms.

Sweeney’s firearms research alone has yielded surprising insights. For example, he’s found that gun ownership in the original colonies was surprisingly varied – relatively low in regions like Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and comparatively higher in the New England and Southern States.

He has used this approach to study the life of Lord Jeffery Amherst, and over the years also has become an expert on the history of the American home. This semester, he’s sharing that knowledge, in a course he’s teaching titled "The Material Culture of American Homes."

Professor Sweeney recently sat down with Director of Public Affairs Peter Rooney to discuss the class.

Listen to the full interview below or download it here:

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Highlights

Q: What is “Material Culture?”

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Taking the Art World by Storm

By Katherine Duke '05

I’m in a gallery of the Mead Art Museum, examining three sculptures. Each one is a sort of woven basket, oddly shaped and adorned with beads and loops of wire in various bright colors. The small plaque beneath each creation lists the artist’s media as “Wood, reed and data.”

Data? How does one make a sculpture out of data?