AMHERST, Mass. -- On Sunday, Feb. 3, at 4:00 p.m., Prof. Randy Frost, an internationally known expert on obsessive-compulsive disorder, compulsive hoarding, and the pathology of perfectionism, will deliver the lecture "Stuff: Hoarding, Collecting, and Meaning" in Amherst College's Stirn Auditorium, adjacent to the Mead Art Museum. The lecture is sponsored by the Mead and is free and open to the public.
Frost's lecture, which will consider hoarding and collecting in terms of their differences and points of contingency, is offered in conjunction with an annual museum event -- a project in which Amherst College students research, select, and purchase a work of art for the museum's collection using designated funds donated in memory of Trinkett Clark, a former curator of American art at the Mead. As part of the project, the student participants explore the ways in which museums build collections, and how that curatorial selection process diverges from, and sometimes intersects with, the collecting habits of private individuals.
"I love all of the public programs we offer at the Mead," observed the museum's director, Elizabeth Barker, "but I have to confess to feeling especially excited about this lecture. The opportunity to delve into the psychological motivations for collecting, an activity that lies at the heart of what museums can do and how they can serve the public, with an expert of Prof. Frost's stature should be riveting. "
Frost received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and is currently the Harold and Elsa Israel Professor of Psychology at Smith College in Northampton. He has published more than 140 scientific articles and book chapters on OCD, hoarding, and perfectionism, and his work has been funded by the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Often introduced as a "hoarding expert," Frost's research has been featured on a variety of television and radio news shows, including 20/20 Downtown, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dateline, National Public Radio (general news as well as the award-winning program The Infinite Mind), BBC News, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company's The Nature of Things. His numerous publications include Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Therapist Guide and an accompanying workbook, and Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding. He is also the co-author of the new book STUFF: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).