Welcome back!

Masks are required for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Address
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

Hours

Tuesday — Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday, Saturday, Sunday Closed

Exhibitions & Events

The Allen presents changing exhibitions along with engaging guest speakers and public programs.

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Art at the AMAM

The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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Collections

Conservation

Provenance Research

Image Licensing

Art Donations

Learn

Explore the full range of museum programs through free events, guided and self-guided tours, and resources for professors and PreK-12 teachers.

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Resources

Find podcasts, activities, and information for all age groups.

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Support for the museum continues our tradition of bringing art to the people.

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Mission & History

The museum promotes study and interaction with original works of art.

Museum facade with the Katharine Wright Haskell Fountain Museum facade with the Katharine Wright Haskell Fountain in the foreground. Photo by Walter Nowak

Founded in 1917 on the campus of Oberlin College, the Allen Memorial Art Museum is recognized as one of the best academic art museums in the nation. Museum admission has always been free for everyone.

A Message from the Director

Andriaderstine 055

Photo by Tanya Rosen Jones

Welcome back! The Allen reopened to the public on June 2, and we are thrilled to have museum friends and regional visitors in the galleries again. We were fortunate that, as the museum has been open to those with an Oberlin College ID card since August 2020, we had less of a “heavy lift” to prepare to greet the general public than did museums that had closed entirely. 

Throughout the past academic year—spread over three semesters to de-densify the campus—college students and faculty made excellent use of the museum’s diverse collections, while staff took time to reimagine our public offerings, developing a new website and augmented reality tour as well as a new cell phone audio guide and scores of virtual programs. We also added to the collection: many new acquisitions are presently on view, and curators have reinvigorated our galleries with timely, thoughtful, exhibitions.

In addition to focusing on new endeavors, we recently completed important grant initiatives that have deeply impacted the museum’s work over the past several years, and will set the stage for future projects. The Freeman Foundation in 2018 provided $203,238 for programs highlighting Asian arts and culture. The Allen’s Education Department used the funds for a wide variety of programs accessible to K-12 students and community members of all ages—pivoting to virtual offerings, of course, during the height of the pandemic. Through a “touch collection” of objects that can be used in teaching and on tours, and with the robust relationships created between staff and local educators, we expect this work to bear fruit for years to come. 

Similarly, the AMAM and the Oberlin College Libraries recently completed initiatives to advance museum and library collaboration through a $150,000 grant awarded in 2016 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The activities undertaken, including a national summit of academic museum and library leaders and numerous outreach activities among Oberlin staff and colleagues at other academic institutions, have laid the groundwork for greater communication and future museum-library collaboration at Oberlin, for the benefit of students and the general public.

During these months of focus on our collections, programs, and audiences, our buildings have not been neglected. This summer, the college’s facilities department partnered with us to install a new roof on the Cass Gilbert building and adjacent areas, and to repair exterior woodwork at the Frank Lloyd Wright house. 

Staff members also began a rigorous process of strategic planning, work that will inform the next five or more years of the Allen’s engagement with our communities. We look forward to keeping you abreast of this endeavor, and to its positive impacts. 

As we hope you know, we enjoy hearing from community members about their experiences and wishes for the Allen—now and in the future—so please reach out if you would like to engage. We are grateful for your support, and, as always, aim to keep you, and positive experiences with the art entrusted to our care, at the forefront of all that we do. 

Andria Derstine


John G. W. Cowles Director

View Previous Director's Letters

Statement on Violence and Discrimination targeting Asian-Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders

The visual arts community at Oberlin College (Art History, Studio Art, the Allen Memorial Art Museum and the Clarence Ward Art Library) recognize and condemn the racial violence in Atlanta, which is a culmination of ongoing harassment and discrimination targeting the Asian-American, Asian and Pacific Islander communities. A persistent blight on American history, this discrimination has intensified in the last year, amplified by politically motivated racist and xenophobic associations between these communities and Covid-19. These hateful actions and words, and the underlying racial stereotypes that support them, hurt the Oberlin College community, including our students and colleagues; they are antithetical to what we stand for professionally and personally. We commit ourselves to the action of building an Oberlin community that is free of discrimination and harassment, and equitably supportive of all its members. This work builds on the necessary anti-racist work we have begun in the Oberlin visual arts community and are committed to continuing.

With this statement, we echo and affirm an earlier statement by the Comparative American Studies Department, East Asian Studies Department, International Student Resource Center, and Multicultural Resource Center, and another statement by the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity Commission.

We encourage Oberlin students and others to use the resources available in these earlier statements for both education and action, and to reach out to us for support.

March 29, 2021

Message on Racial Justice

The Allen Memorial Art Museum stands in solidarity with communities of color in affirming a belief in justice and equality for all, and in condemning racial injustice. Oberlin College President Ambar has recently announced an initiative to address these issues, and the museum staff look forward to partnering in this with her, with our colleagues, and with our broader community.

I had the honor of spending time with Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and Lonnie Bunch, then the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and now secretary of the Smithsonian, during Oberlin College’s 2017 commencement. At that time, each received honorary degrees, and Walker delivered the address, marking the AMAM’s centennial. Their powerful public statements in recent days on the killing of George Floyd, and of many others, are uplifting calls to action, and for change.

In the museum world, our work is accomplished with and through art. Art has the power to demonstrate, to communicate, to educate, to help, and to heal in difficult and painful situations. The staff and I look forward to welcoming you back to the museum, a site where we can collectively reflect upon and engage in conversations about societal challenges, including racial injustice and inequality, and together work to effect that needed change.

Andria Derstine
John G. W. Cowles Director

June 4, 2020

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