Spring Director's Letter





I am honored to serve as acting director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum while Andria Derstine, the museum’s indefatigable director, takes a research sabbatical until early March of 2019.

If you are reading this, you probably already appreciate the value of a liberal arts education. You know that the humanities help people to become better problem-solvers and decision-makers. Study of the liberal arts also enhances collaboration, creativity, and innovation—all highly valued in a world facing economic, social, political, and technological challenges.

At the AMAM, we believe that the study of high-quality original works of art is an indispensable part of the Oberlin experience. Each academic year, the museum hosts nearly 400 class engagements representing more than 40 disciplines taught in the college and conservatory. For much of this we are indebted to Liliana Milkova, our highly regarded former curator of academic programs, who has left for a position at the Yale University Art Gallery. Our exhibitions and programs promote visual literacy, analytical thinking, multidisciplinary inquiry, and cross-cultural understanding. We offer students real-world work experiences and models for improving the lives of people in their communities. As just one example, more than 1,500 K-12 students from Oberlin and surrounding communities participate in AMAM-sponsored learning activities annually.

In these pages you will find evidence of all that and more. We are especially proud that the museum will serve as an ambassador for Oberlin College through the current loan of our painting by Ter Brugghen, St. Sebastian Tended by Irene, to two venues in Europe and through an upcoming exhibition of 200 Japanese woodblock prints at three venues in Japan from April to September 2019. The dedication and professionalism of the AMAM staff are truly boundless. I also want to acknowledge here the loyalty and support of the AMAM Visiting Committee, chaired by Carl Gerber ’58, and our members and donors. We can’t do this work without all of you.

Katie Solender ’77
Acting John G.W. Cowles Director
(September 2018–March 2019)

P.S. The AMAM will join the Oberlin Annual Fund in going All In For Oberlin on Thursday, April 25, when students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends make gifts in support of people and programs at Oberlin. We hope you’ll participate! #AllinforOberlin

Read past Director's Letters here