Closed to the Public

Open only to visitors with an Oberlin College ID who participate in the college's testing program.

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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Join & Support

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

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Student Work & Research

Starting with small questions about artworks, Oberlin students find that looking closely at a painting or sculpture can lead to big discoveries in class and beyond.

Current students assist with special events at the museum Current students assist with special events at the museum, such as monthly Allen After Hours receptions. Photo by Sara Morgan

The visual arts become a source of inquiry, an inspiration, and a means to expand discussions begun in the classroom, lab, or studio.

During your time as an Oberlin student, you may be surprised when your chemistry or TIMARA course comes to the museum instead of your classroom, lab, or studio. Museum staff and Oberlin faculty members collaborate to support critical inquiry and analysis through multimodal learning centered on works of art.

At the AMAM, you’ll find that art can be “read” from a range of disciplinary vantage points to deepen your understanding of a topic, historical period, or theme. Looking closely at and deciphering a work of art develops skills—such as observation and evidentiary reasoning—that are essential to other fields. Artworks might inspire your own creations or lead to new ways of looking at your subject and yourself.

“Much like working in a lab, museum visits are hands on. They require active problem solving and teamwork. They push students of any discipline to consider the importance of continually asking questions, of approaching questions from different angles, and of understanding the interconnectivity of everything we do.”
—Lodewijck Kuijpers OC ’15, double major, neuroscience and studio art

In the Office of Academic Programs, we put collaborative meaning-making at the center of learning. We believe that looking slowly and carefully allows new paths of questioning to unfold, which might just be the start of your next big project. The Allen’s collection is here to be used in your academic work in a variety of ways—in class papers, as inspiration for musical compositions, or as the source of a digital exhibition. No matter what major you choose, you may have the opportunity to complete a capstone or honors project that centers on objects in the Allen collection.


Examples of student work

The museum offers many resources to students working on projects. Curators are available to help you navigate and deepen your understanding of the collection. We also offer appointments to view objects and files, when appropriate.

Learn more about researching the collection. 

Presenting your work internally 

At Oberlin, presenting your object-centered work begins in the classroom, but it can grow in unexpected ways, whether you’re performing at one of our Allen After Hours events, working with second-graders as a docent tour leader, or giving a public talk in our galleries.

Each year one Oberlin student is awarded a monetary prize as well as the opportunity to present a Tuesday Tea talk. For example, past winners have focused on Paul Klee's painting The Kettledrum Organ, a painting of the ancient Roman noblewoman Lucretia, and the musical compositions of Richard Wagner. Our student speakers receive mentorship from AMAM curators on presenting scholarly talks for a public audience.

Presenting your work externally 

Oberlin’s Office of Undergraduate Research has long supported Oberlin students who are exploring their intellectual interests through intensive research. In recent years, the Allen has been the “research laboratory” for several Mellon Mays fellows. With more than 15,000 works in our collection, there are lots of opportunities for undergraduate students to develop original research topics. Oberlin students have shared research at regional and national conferences. In 2020, five art history majors presented projects related to the AMAM at the largest art history conference in the United States, with financial support from the museum.


Winter Term

Each year, the museum offers a winter-term option focused on museum education. We also serve as a meeting point for all students undertaking winter-term projects exploring museology and the arts.

The Office of Academic Programs occasionally sponsors group and individual winter-term projects on the collection, museology, or the museum profession. To discuss your ideas, please contact the curator of academic programs.

AMAM Student Paper Award

Each year, the Allen selects one Oberlin College junior or senior for its annual Student Paper Award, which highlights student research and engagement with the collection. The recipient receives a $150 honorarium and the opportunity to present a lecture on a work of art in the museum collection.

See the 2020 Student Paper Award presentation on Vimeo.

Memberships

Support appreciation for original works of art by becoming a museum member.

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