Hampshire College has a small, eclectic permanent collection. A vast number of objects were donated when the college was first built, so there are among them some quintessentially “60’s” artworks that define the period of Hampshire’s beginnings (Larry Bell’s glass cube, Anuskiewicz “op art” paintings that can induce seizures, and Paul Zelansky’s poured resin abstract sculptures). Also strongly represented is fine art photography, with major portfolios by Paul Strand, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Edouard Boubat, Robert Dousneau, Elliott Erwitt, and Jerome Liebling.
This searchable database contains information about catalogued objects from the collections of seven museums in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts: the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Hampshire College Art Gallery, Historic Deerfield, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Joseph Allen Skinner Museum of Mount Holyoke College, the Smith College Museum of Art, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This is a working database and is constantly being updated as new information becomes available. Not all of the records have images, nor have they all been recently reviewed by curatorial staff; some may require revision. A small percentage of the museums’ collections are not currently searchable online.
The mission of the Hampshire College Archives and Special Collections is to preserve and make accessible the records of Hampshire College as well as the creative and scholarly output of its students and faculty. Collection also include the Eqbal Ahmad Papers, the Karen DiGia Collection, the Barbara Mettler Collection, and the Robert W. Lisle Collection of photographic materials.
Institute for Curatorial Practice
The Institute for Curatorial Practice is a five-week intensive summer program focusing on the practice of curation: material, digital, and imaginary.
The program introduces traditional museum approaches and intensive object study while simultaneously investigating the “curatorial imaginary,” an expanding field driven by developments in new media. In a digital environment free from the standard logistics of curating–budgets, loan paperwork, installation headaches, the laws of physics–what curatorial inventions might be possible?
At the Institute for Curatorial Practice, students investigate and implement contemporary modes of curation, combining new media technologies and experimental methods with the direct study of collections in distinguished museums and archives in the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst). Our emphasis is on the acquisition of critical, theoretical, and digital design skills while developing imaginative and conceptual strategies for the exhibition of objects, images, sounds, structures, films, sites, texts, and artifacts.