Brutalist Architecture at UMass

Brutalist Architecture at UMass

  Last spring, the Amherst Historical Society hosted a series of four Zoom lectures (‘Brut Bites’) on Brutalist architecture at UMass. You may view the lecture videos here:

April 12: UMass Then/Now
    Speakers: Ron Michaud and Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
April 19: The History and Cultures of the Southwest Residential Complex
    Speaker: Timothy M. Rohan
April 26: Unbuilt UMass: A History of Campus Master Plans
    Speaker: Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham
May 3: The History of the Randolph W. Bromery Fine Arts Center
    Speakers: L. Carl Fiocchi and Margaret Vickery
 
  And now this fall the University is hosting a 2-day symposium on Brutalist architecture:
  ‘The main campaign event will be a two-day symposium entitled Brutalism + the Public University: Past, Present and Future to be held at UMass Dartmouth on Friday, October 22nd and at UMass Amherst on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021. The symposium will include nationwide industry professionals, as well as faculty, students, and staff of all backgrounds with an interest in Brutalism.   Presenters will share their experiences working with Brutalist structures especially in the public realm. The goal of the symposium is to create a dynamic, cross-disciplinary conversation among all participants on how we may conserve and provide stewardship of our buildings for the future.’

  For more information, and to register for the symposium, click here and here.

Edward Hitchcock Lecture and Acousticca

Edward Hitchcock Lecture and Acousticca

This Friday, September 10, at noon, we will begin our fall History Bites lecture series with Robert McMaster, who will discuss his new book on Edward Hitchcock. Edward Hitchcock was one of the most eminent American scientists of his time, a popular professor and president at Amherst College, and an inspired preacher. But, nearly 160 years after his death, his story has never really been told. So in his new book, All the Light Here Comes from Above: The Life and Legacy of Edward Hitchcock, Williamsburg author Robert T. McMaster at last brings to light the many facets of one of this state’s and the nation’s most famous sons.

Friday’s lecture will be brought to you over Zoom, with the generous help of our friends at Amherst Media. Click here for the Zoom link.

And on Saturday at 3:30 the Museum will host its much-postponed performance of Acousticca, who will perform on our lawn at 67 Amity Street from 3:30 to 5PM.

‘The band performs their own original music as well as many covers of some of the world’s greatest songs from Country, Blues and Rock legends such as Johnny Cash, EmmyLou Harris, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones to name a few, while adding their own signature style to these classic songs.’

Tonight at The Strong House – Felipe Salles Jazz Trio

Tonight at The Strong House – Felipe Salles Jazz Trio

Come celebrate the breaking of the heat wave with the Felipe Salles Jazz Trio.

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles has served as a Professor of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2010. An active musician in the US since 1995, he has worked and recorded with prominent jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Chico Pinheiro, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South America, India and Australia, as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.

As Amherst reopens, the Amherst History Museum is presenting small-ensemble performances featuring local musicians in our 18th Century garden The performances are free and open to the public, and we will pass the hat for the musicians. Bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on!

Videos of downtown Amherst

Videos of downtown Amherst

Despite the recent heat wave, the cooler weather of autumn is on the way. UMass students will soon return to campus, with new students arriving for orientation starting on Friday, August 27; the University already has its electric signboards up, giving directions to traffic and pedestrians.

With our Society’s emphasis on history, we can sometimes forget the present-day charm of the town we live in, but there are a couple of youtube videos which can help to remind us.  One is of a simple family outing to the Common on a Saturday in the fall a few years ago — note that they parked near the Strong House! And the other is a 4-minute video driving tour of downtown Pleasant Street, which was already deserted at the beginning of the pandemic, on a Thursday in March, 2020.

Summer Concerts

Summer Concerts

Our Acousticca lawn concert has once again been postponed, due to rain, this time to Thursday, August
26, at 6PM.

Summer is the customary time for music on the town green, or in some other public venue. The Amherst Historical Society has been pleased to provide a venue for for musical performances this summer, but we remember that in past summers, other history museums have also hosted musical performances. One of the best-known series has been the ‘Perfect Spot of Tea,’ hosted by the Porter Phelps Huntington house in Hadley. We are fortunate to have in our archives a lecture on the PPH house, its history and its significance.

Historic Church Bell Arrives!

Historic Church Bell Arrives!

The Amherst Historical Society is very pleased to announce the delivery of the historic church bell from the former Second Congregational Church, which is now the JCA. Thanks to the generous donation of time and equipment from Leader Home Centers, and the skill of Jeff the driver/operator, the bell, weighing about 3/4 of a ton, was delivered to the grounds of our Museum on Friday morning around 9AM.

Historic bell