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

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Tuesday — Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday — Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday Closed

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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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From the Director - Spring 2021

January 8, 2021

From the Director - Spring 2021

January 8, 2021

From the Director - Spring 2021

The beginning of a new year always brings a healthy dose of optimism. Despite the many challenges we still face, it is a time to look forward to what we hope to do, as well as to look back and celebrate all we have achieved. During 2020, the staff of the AMAM rose spectacularly to meet the moment, pivoting to produce virtual programs, develop a new website, and create an augmented reality tour of the galleries accessible to all. Staff members also devised new ways of working with Oberlin College faculty and students, as well as with K-12 students and teachers and the general public. While we look ahead with anticipation to the time we can once again welcome everyone back to the museum, we are grateful for the college’s leadership on COVID testing and building-access protocols, which have kept our campus community, and by extension our town, relatively safe.

It’s a particular pleasure to see some of our long-held traditions move forward in digital formats, even as we eagerly anticipate holding them in person again. The Education Department’s Winter Term training of college students in museum practices will take place in the coming months using Zoom technology, a platform we’ve also used to connect with schoolchildren, and many of you, through our lectures and webinars. Similarly, our Office of Academic Programs, which last year piloted a program that equipped five OC students to give poster sessions on their research at the national conference of the College Art Association (CAA), this year will work with seven students who will make presentations at the CAA’s remotely held conference, a signal honor. Other Oberlin students have completed curatorial assistantships at the museum or participated in a summer internship program, all working closely with museum staff to develop career readiness in an exceptionally difficult job market.

Museum registrars and preparators brilliantly reenvisioned our long-standing Art Rental practices, enabling students to safely participate in this important Oberlin tradition during the program’s 80th anniversary year. In addition, our collection curators continue their excellent work to creatively formulate exhibitions that showcase the breadth and depth of the museum’s exceptional collection—as always, highlighting works from many of the world’s cultures, bringing in new perspectives, and fostering discussion on challenging topics. Installations for this academic year include one exploring how antiracism efforts can intersect with object interpretation and label writing, involving students in the process. Other exhibitions new this semester relate to humans’ often-fraught relationship with the land and the objectification of women, among other topics. And while the pandemic has caused us to postpone what was to be a signature exhibition this academic year—on the drawings of artist Eva Hesse, whose archive we hold—we are thrilled that the catalogue accompanying the show was named one of the Best Art Books of 2020 by the New York Times.

As we move forward with confidence and good cheer, the staff and I send you our warmest thanks for your support—it is what has enabled all that we do. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us, and, until we meet again, stay well.

—Andria Derstine, John G.W. Cowles Director

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