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Beginning May 27, we will be closed as part of Oberlin College’s Sustainable Infrastructure Program.

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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 — Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday, Sunday Closed
Open until 5:00 p.m. & always free

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

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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 2022

February 24, 2022

From the Director - Spring 2022

February 24, 2022

We gladly noted increasing visits to the AMAM during 2021, and, despite continued challenges, we look forward to welcoming more people in 2022. Exhibitions will certainly be a draw, including an important retrospective of the drawings of Eva Hesse. Comprised entirely of works from the Allen, it was on view in Wiesbaden, New York, and Vienna in 2019, and was slated to be shown back home here in fall 2020. As with so many things, Covid upended our plans. But at last this survey, just part of the indispensable resource that is the Allen’s holdings of Hesse’s work, can be appreciated – indeed relished – in Oberlin.

Other exhibitions celebrate new gifts of art and the 50th anniversary of the formation at Oberlin of the collaborative dance form Contact Improvisation; still others interrogate ideas of identity, invention, place, and belonging in works spanning the 16th to 21st centuries. Looking ahead, we’re proud again to be part of the FRONT Triennial through a summer installation by Ahmet Öğüt that calls into question notions of activism, power, and value, even as it gives a prominent role to works in the AMAM collection.

Although we’ve become used to looking for silver linings among grey clouds these past years, sometimes there simply are none; that is unfortunately the case with regard to several poignant transitions in the AMAM family. Mary Louise VanDyke, founder of the Volunteer Guild, passed away in December, six months after her husband Don. Both were 1947 Oberlin College graduates and beloved community members. In founding the Guild in 2007, Mary Louise added greatly to the AMAM’s reach, enhancing the visitor experience through a welcoming presence and myriad other projects. Her work was tireless, from nimble organization of decorations and friendly service at Tuesday Teas, to recruitment of members and cheerful advocacy. She was irreplaceable, and will be deeply missed. We also mourn Annabel Perlik ’49, a devoted museum supporter and donor. I had the great pleasure of traveling with Annabel on a college-sponsored trip to Italy in 2011, and fondly recall her lively curiosity and conversation.

A somewhat less melancholy “passing” but a sad one nonetheless: Catherine Klima Gletherow, the museum’s advancement liaison, retired on February 4. Catherine’s considerable contributions to the Allen include developing planned giving opportunities, raising monies for endowments and projects, stewarding donors, and promoting museum programs. During her 23 years at Oberlin, including some 15 as our liaison, she championed the museum’s role on campus and within the alumni family. We are much the better for her work. We also have had transitions on the staff; Megan Harding, the museum's communications manager, is retiring as well, after more than 15 years with the college and nine at the AMAM. Among the fruits of her labor are these newsletters, her deft editing, and her design of exhibition graphics. Other transitions were the departures of Administrative Assistant Sally Moffitt and Museum Security Officer Douglas Weaver.

On a happier note, the Allen was chosen by Master Drawings New York as this year’s featured academic museum partner. For this annual gathering of leading art dealers, Curator Alexandra Letvin mounted an online exhibition and gave a talk on the AMAM's collection of European drawings. As we look forward to more in-person events, we appreciate connecting with you through such opportunities, and through the virtual events the AMAM’s education department continues to organize. I hope we’ll see you soon – online, or in the galleries.

Andria Derstine
John G.W. Cowles Director

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