Founded in 1876, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum was one of the first collegiate museums in the United States—and today is one of the liveliest! It’s a “cultural laboratory” for the campus and is actively used in teaching by faculty and students studying art, history, chemistry, French, anthropology, philosophy, religion, and numerous other disciplines.
Albert Bierstadt’s majestic painting, Hetch Hetchy Canyon, was the first gift to the Museum at its founding. Since then the Museum has acquired more than 16,000 objects—ranging from ancient Egypt, China, and Peru to contemporary America. Collection objects are displayed on a rotating basis, allowing students to have access to original works of art of the highest quality. An illustrated online database also allows reference to the permanent collection which is constantly growing through purchases and gifts.