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Western Massachusetts

Hampshire County

Stay cool with summer art exhibitions in Hampshire County

Summer of Love at the Smith College Museum of Art
Summer of Love at the Smith College Museum of Art

As the temperatures continue to fly high in Western Massachusetts this summer, step into the air-conditioned wonders of some of our world-class museums in Hampshire County: the Smith College Museum of Art, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. Don’t miss your chance to take a trip to San Francisco in the sixties, experience art from antiquity to today, and wander through the whimsical world nature-based picture book art. Some of these summer exhibitions will close before you know it!

Closing September 15, Summer of Love: Psychedelic Posters from the Smith College Museum of Art features designs by some of the major California poster artists of the 1960s. Summer of Love showcases posters from the permanent collection that were created to promote a diverse range of cultural pursuits, including concerts at iconic Bay Area venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom, art shows, “Human Be-Ins,” and the legalization of so-called consciousness-expanding drugs. Most of the works in the exhibition date to 1967, the pivotal year known as the “Summer of Love.” Your eyes will be dazzled by the iconic psychedelic aesthetic of these posters which feature bright colors, groovy lettering styles, and dream-like imagery that’s representative of this unforgettable period in American history. Enjoy Free Second Fridays with extended hours from 4 to 8 p.m. during the remainder of the exhibition on August 9 and September 13.

Step into the colorful world of nature represented by picture book art at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art—it will be like you’re still outside! Through September 1, The Art of Eric Carle: Feathers, Fins, and Fur features Eric Carle’s interest in the animals who have populated his books. On view a bit longer through November 10 but perfect for the season is A Garden of Ordinary Miracles, an exhbibit of award-winning artist Robert Zakanitch’s alphabetical ode to nature. The delights of nature’s everyday wonders come to life for both children and adults in detailed renderings of plants that we grow and nurture in our gardens.  On Friday, August 9, enjoy Free Fun Friday at the Carle. Check out a full schedule of events here.

The Mead Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition This Just In! Additions to the Collection from Pompeii to Today  (opens August 16) celebrates the recent growth of Amherst College’s art collection. Some major artworks will be on view for the first time ever including a rare and exquisite Renaissance engraving of The Virgin and Child with the Monkey by Albrecht Dürer and a Roman sarcophagus decorated with sea deities and inscribed with an important memorial poem, written by a mother in memory of the young daughter and son who were interred together in the sarcophagus. The exhibition will debut a new free translation of that poem, which has long been celebrated by scholars, written by former U.S. poet laureate and Amherst College faculty member (and alum) Richard Wilbur.

Get to know the Mead this summer from its experts, too. Every Thursday at 2 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m. through August 23, It’s Cool at the Mead offers a series of curator-led gallery talks. No two tours will be the same and attendees receive an ice cream coupon for Atkins Farms. Admission is always free.

The image credits are as follows:

1: Bonnie MacLean. American, born 1949. Martha and the Vandellas, 1967. Lithograph printed in color on paper. Published by Creative Lithograph Company, Oakland, California. Purchased. Photo: Petegorsky/Gipe

2: Victor Moscoso. American, born Spain, 1936. The Chambers Brothers, 1967. Lithograph printed in color on paper. Purchased. Photo: Petegorsky/Gipe

3: John Thompson. American, born 1945. Flower Child, 1967. Screenprint printed in color on paper. Published by Astro Posters, Berkeley, California. Purchased. Photo by Petegorsky/Gipe

4: Wes Wilson. American, born 1937. Byrds, Byrds, Byrds, 1967. Lithograph printed in color on paper. Published by West Coast Lithograph Company, San Francisco, California. Purchased. Photo: Petegorsky/Gipe 

Date: Jul 17, 2013 | Posted by: Melissa Breor | Category: Explore, Art, Museums, Galleries & Showings | Tags:
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