Closed Summer 2024

The Allen Memorial Art Museum is currently closed for improvements.

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


Closed all week

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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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Asian art comprises about one-third of the museum's collection.

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Asian Landscape in the Manner of Zhao Mengfu, 1661, by Chinese painter Wáng Jiàn

The arts of Asia have been a significant presence at the Allen from its inception, and make up about a third of museum holdings.

Extending from prehistory to the present, the Asian collection includes superb examples of painting, calligraphy, sculpture, religious and decorative art, and West Asian textiles, as well as a renowned collection of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Japanese Prints
A great strength of the collection are Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Edo period (1603-1868), established with the 1950 bequest by Mary A. Ainsworth of more than 1,500 prints. The Ainsworth collection includes numerous rarities and unique impressions—works by all of the major print designers in all major genres. Most notable are early prints and examples of early printing techniques such as sumizuri-e, hand-coloring, urushi-e, tan-e, beni-e, and benizuri-e.

Rare works by Kaigetsudō Dohan, Kaigetsudō Anchi, Suzuki Harunobu, Torii Kiyonaga, and Kitagawa Utamaro join fine impressions by Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and complete sets of the major print series by Utagawa Hiroshige. The collection also includes fine examples of surimono.

Significant gifts and purchases in later decades expanded the collection to include prints from the Meiji period (1868-1912), the 20th century shin-hanga and sōsaku-hanga movements, and contemporary Japanese prints from the late 20th century to the present. Due to the scope and richness of the AMAM’s holdings of Japanese prints, this collection is used the most frequently by classes visiting the museum to study Asian art.

Chinese Paintings
The museum has fine examples of Chinese painting from the 14th to the 21st century, with particular strengths in the 17th, 18th, and 20th centuries. The earliest painting, a Buddhist hanging scroll of an arhat and attendants by an anonymous painter, dates to the 14th century. Ming dynasty (1368–1644) paintings include works by Xie Shichen, Li Liufang, Lu Zhi, and fine anonymous works in the styles of the Zhe school and the painters Shen Zhou and Qiu Ying.

Qing dynasty (1644–1911) paintings include albums by Zhang Hong, Gao Fenghan, and Li Shan; hanging scrolls by Wang Yuanqi, Wang Jian, Wang Hui, Yuan Jiang, Yun Bing, and Gao Yu; and a handscroll by Xiao Yuncong.

Painters of the modern era represented in the collection include Wu Changshuo, Wang Zhen, Pujin, Chang Dai-chien, Huang Binhong, and Liu Haisu. Contemporary paintings include works by Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, Xiaoze Xie and Shen Jiawei, as well as anonymous works from the Cultural Revolution era. Paintings by artists born in China but active elsewhere include works by Zao Wou-ki and Hung Liu.

East Asian Ceramics
With the greatest historical span of any Asian collection at the AMAM, ceramic works range from vessels dating to the 3rd millennium BCE (from China’s Neolithic Yangshao culture) to contemporary abstract sculptures. Highlights of early ceramics include stoneware from Korea’s Three Kingdoms (57 BCE–668 CE) and Unified Silla (668–935) periods, Sancai works from China’s Tang dynasty (618–907), celadon vessels from the Goryeo period (918–1392) in Korea, and Ding, Jun, Jian, and Jizhou wares from China’s Song dynasty (961–1279).

Notable works from China’s Qing dynasty (1644–1911) include Kangxi period famille verte, and two vases from the imperial workshops: a Yongzheng-period celadon moonflask and a Qianlong-period blue underglaze vase with Ming-style floral designs.

Examples of Japanese Edo period (1603–1868) ceramics include Imari, Raku, Kakiemon, Shigaraki, Hirado, and Kutani wares, and from the Meiji period (1868-1912) a fine collection of Satsuma ware.

In recent years, the AMAM has expanded the collection to include works of contemporary Japanese ceramics by Shimaoka Tatsuzō, Fukami Sueharu, Yabe Shunichi, Kamada Kōji, Wada Akira, Wakao Kei, Ishiyama Tetsuya, and others.


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Allen Memorial Art Museum Closed for the Summer

Starting May 27, the Allen Memorial Art Museum will close for the summer in the lead up to the completion of Oberlin College and Conservatory's Sustainable Infrastructure Program (SIP). Learn More