Mead Awarded Carpenter Foundation Grant to Support Fellowship in Japanese Prints



February 5, 2013
Rachel Rogol, 413-542-2295
Hi-res images available upon request 

AMHERST, Mass. -- On December 4, 2012, the Mead received a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to co-fund an eighteen-month postdoctoral curatorial teaching fellowship. The fellowship will also be co-funded by Amherst College, and has been conceived in collaboration with the department of art and the history of art. Once hired, the Curatorial Fellow will research the museum's large and internationally distinguished, but insufficiently studied, collection of Japanese woodblock prints; enrich the museum's cataloguing records of its Japanese art holdings; and teach two Amherst College classes in the Mead's study room using the Japanese print collection.


The Mead holds the Five Colleges' flagship collection of Asian art, comprised of 3,750 paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and other objects from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. Two-thirds of the collection, numbering some 2,500 works, consists of Japanese woodblock prints, the largest such group held in any college art museum. Since these works have never been thoroughly catalogued, their extraordinary potential for teaching and display has yet to been realized.


"All of us at the Mead are excited to bring the focused, full-time attention of an expert in Japanese woodblock prints, familiar with its history and techniques, and fluent in the Japanese language, to bear on this worthy collection," noted Mead director Elizabeth Barker. "At the conclusion of the fellowship, all of the most important works in Amherst's distinguished Japanese print collection will be intelligible to the museum's curators-and by extension, accessible to visitors and scholars through exhibitions, the Mead's searchable on-line collection catalogue, and, eventually, print publications."


The Curatorial Fellow will work to expand between 500 and 1,000 catalogue records, and to compose interpretive texts for 100 to 150 of the most important works. Towards the end of the fellowship, the Curatorial Fellow will assess the remaining work to be undertaken for the Japanese print collection (including recommendations for conservation, new photography, and storage), and will work with the museum's curatorial and collections management staff to develop achievable plans for its prompt completion.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, spanning 5,000 years and encompassing the creative achievements of many world cultures. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. The museum and its gift shop-café are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round, and until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the academic term.


For more information, including a complete schedule of all museum events, please visit or call 413/542-2335.