Where We Are: Arts & Culture

Theatres, galleries, museums, cultural centers, historical sights—take your pick. The Pioneer Valley also is home to internationally known artists, writers, and musicians. No matter what the season, it's a creative, vibrant place.

Photos

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An illustrated area map of the location of the Five Colleges in relation to Mount Holyoke College. Hampshire College, Amherst College, and UMass are all north on Route 116 (approximately 10 miles). Smith College in Northampton is approximately 12 miles west.

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The Emily Dickinson Museum consists of two historic houses in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts, associated with the poet Emily Dickinson and her family during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Homestead was the birthplace and home of the poet Emily Dickinson. The Evergreens, next door, was home to her brother Austin, his wife Susan, and their three children. (Photo: The facade of the yellow Homestead)
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The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art. The museum's goal is to foster connections between visual and verbal literacy and to provide visitors of all ages and backgrounds with the confidence to appreciate and enjoy art of every kind. (Photo: the museum's modern white facade)
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The National Yiddish Book Center rescues Yiddish and other modern Jewish books and celebrates the culture they contain. To date, 1.5 million volumes have been recovered. The center's achievement has been hailed as the "the greatest cultural rescue effort in Jewish history." (Photo: the center's distinctive shingled rooftops)
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Opened in 1979, the Iron Horse Music Hall has earned a national reputation as a venue for live music. Nightly shows feature up-and-comers, as well as established artists. (Photo: the poster-filled front windows)
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The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is the largest professional orchestra in Massachusetts outside of Boston and is composed of approximately 80 musicians from the Pioneer Valley, Boston and New York areas. The SSO also sponsors two youth orchestras with 170 musicians, and a 120-voice volunteer chorus. (Photo: the conductor reading a page of sheet music)
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Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums is composed of four world-class museums—the Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, and the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. It also is home to the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, a series of full-scale bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss's whimsical creations, honoring the birthplace of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. (Photo: A bronze sculpture of Seuss's character Horton)
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One of the oldest collegiate museums in the United States, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum maintains a comprehensive collection of approximately 14,000 objects, ranging from ancient Egypt, China, and Peru to contemporary America. Known for its lively, intellectual, and imaginative special exhibitions, the museum also hosts related gallery talks, lectures, and occasional concerts that are open to the public. (Photo: students viewing a modern print)
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The University Gallery is the visual arts showcase of the Fine Arts Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The gallery maintains a permanent collection of approximately 2,600 objects with an emphasis on drawings, prints, and photographs from the second half of the twentieth century. (Photo: a contemporary installation)
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The Smith College Museum of Art is best known for its nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American collection. In addition, it is developing holdings in Asian, African, and Latin American art. The permanent collection features works by Manet, Monet, Picasso, Copley, Eakins, Stella, Motherwell, O'Keeffe, and many other famous painters, along with noteworthy sculpture and classical antiquities, prints, drawings and photographs. (Photo: interior of a gallery of classics)
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The Mead Art Museum is an American Association of Museums (AAM)-accredited museum that houses the art collections of Amherst College, nearly 14,000 works that have been acquired since 1839. It has six galleries devoted to displaying highlights of its permanent collection, in addition to its changing exhibition space in Fairchild Gallery. (Photo: looking through the doorways of several galleries)
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The Hampshire College Art Gallery functions primarily as an alternative exhibition space concentrating on, but not limited to, the visual arts. The exhibits feature work by graduating students, fine arts faculty, and emerging regional artists, as well as that by contemporary artists of national and international stature. (Photo: an installation of an exhibition in progress)
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The UMass Fine Arts Center is a central force in the cultural, social and academic life of the university, the Five Colleges, and the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. It offers a combination of educational, visual, and performing arts programs.
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(Links to related sites outside this tour)

About This Site

This transcript is a companion to the Mount Holyoke College Tour, a multimedia site presenting the Mount Holyoke experience through photos, audio clips, and video clips. The corresponding page on the multimedia tour is Arts & Culture. If you have suggestions about how to improve the accessibility of this site, please contact us.