June 16 - 17, 2012
Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College
Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
- Days of Their Lives? Fact and Fiction in 19th-century Genre Painting
The term “genre” (which literally means “type”) has come to signify one category of art: scenes of everyday life. This installation of paintings from the Mead’s collection focuses on American, British, and French genre paintings from the nineteenth century. Once castigated as ignoble because of its lower-class subject matter, genre painting came to be regarded as timely, imbued with feeling, and potentially heroic. Because genre paintings derived their subjects from everyday life but embellished them, they are perhaps best understood as imagined alternatives to the real conditions of industrialized capitalism, rather than as documents of lived existence.
- Exotic Muses: Dancers by Robert Henri and Nick Cave
Separated in time by a century, American ‘Ashcan’ painter Robert Henri (1865–1929) and contemporary sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave (born in 1959) are bound by a shared commitment to the human figure. This six-object installation, featuring a celebrated Henri at Amherst (Salome, 1909) and loans from the Colby College Museum of Art and two private collections, explores the artists’ representations of dancers as exotic “Others” — alluring, and perhaps unsettling, personifications of difference. This exhibition is supported by the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund and Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson.
Smith College Museum of Art
- Shared Inspiration: The David R. and Muriel Pokross Collection
Shared Inspiration: The David R. and Muriel Pokross Collection celebrates a generous gift from the family of Muriel Kohn Pokross, class of 1934, and David R. Pokross. The Pokross Collection is comprised mainly of paintings, drawings, and prints by major artists of the post-World War II period. The collection displays a strong inclination towards figuration – even many of the abstract works subtly engage the figure – and emotional connection.