Amherst College Mead Art Museum Records
Scope and Contents
The collection contains correspondence, research notes, news clippings, guest books, exhibition catalogues, monographs, press releases, and photographs relating to Amherst College's Mead Art Museum. The records include significant documentation of the museum's first major exhibition, the Armory Show Retrospective of 1958.
- Majority of material found within 1946-present
- Mead Art Museum (Amherst College) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
There is no restriction on access to the Amherst College Mead Art Museum Records for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests for permission to publish material from the Records should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Biographical / Historical
Professor Charles H. Morgan of the College's Fine Arts Department was responsible for developing the museum's original art collection. He became the museum's first director in 1948, a position which he held for twenty years. (Morgan wrote a detailed history of the collection in 1972, entitled The Development of the Art Collection of Amherst College, 1821- 1971).
The Mead Art Museum building was constructed in 1948-49 on the site of the Stearns Church (the Stearns Church spire was retained). Construction was financed by gift from architect William R. Mead (AC 1867) and directed by the college architect, James Kellum Smith of the firm McKim, Mead and White, in collaboration with Professor Morgan. Originally the Mead facility served as both a venue for displaying works of art and a teaching facility with offices and studio space.
As the Fine Arts Department evolved, it shifted its curriculum slightly away from the scholarly study of art and towards the creation of art in the studio. As early as the 1970s Mead's studio facilities became obsolete. In 1985 the college planned a major renovation and extension of the museum, but these plans were postponed; the Arts department relied instead on the use of the Fayerweather building for studio space. Finally, in 1999, when it was apparent that Mead's facilities were inadequate to even preserve its existing collection, the College began an ambitious renovation project. The interior of the building was completely gutted, offices and studios made way for display and storage space, and state-of-the-art climate control and security systems were installed to protect the collection. The museum reopened in March 2001.
8.6 Linear feet (5 records storage boxes, 3 archives boxes, 4 half archives boxes, 3 oversize flat boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, research notes, news clippings, guest books, exhibition catalogues, monographs, press releases, and photographs relating to Amherst College's Mead Art Museum. The records include significant documentation of the museum's first major exhibition, the Armory Show Retrospective of 1958.
This collection is organized into three series:
- Series 1: Exhibition Files, 1946-present
- Series 2: Printed Material, 1930s-present
- Series 3: Art Gallery Guest Books, 1874-1879, 1970-1980
Reprocessed in 2013 by Peter A. Nelson, Archivist, and Nicole Sanches (AC 2013), Student Assistant.
- Amherst College -- Buildings Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Armory Show (1913 : New York, N.Y.) Subject Source: Library Of Congress Name Authority File
- Art -- Study and teaching -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- College art museums Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Exhibition catalogs Subject Source: Library Of Congress Genre/Form Terms
- Mead Art Museum (Amherst College)
- Posters Subject Source: Library Of Congress Genre/Form Terms
- Peter A. Nelson
- Language of description
- Script of description