The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) is pleased to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its permanent art collection, begun in 1962, with this special exhibition of 115 artworks drawn from its growing collection of more than 3,600 prints, drawings, photographs, and multiples—from masters of mid- and late-20th-century art to work by the leading artists of our time. A rich array of renowned artists joins lesser known and under-recognized artists in celebration, as we introduce and re-introduce the public to our university’s remarkable visual arts resource.
The 60th anniversary exhibition is a major milestone for the UMCA, but also a moment for reflection, critical examination, and charting new directions. The exhibition reveals the museum’s most recent collecting strategy that prioritizes diversifying the collection. Recent acquisitions of works by women and by artists of color point to a renewed commitment to inclusion of artwork by under recognized artists into this important UMass repository for study and research. As we enter the next vibrant chapter of our story, we will expand our reach and continue to champion powerfully diverse artistic expressions of our ever-changing world. This exhibition highlights the UMCA’s commitment to contemporary art as a catalyst for discussing the urgent issues of our time, building community, and creating empathy.
This exhibition also celebrates the donors and artists whose generous gifts have made it possible for the UMCA to grow its collection. We are excited to include the voices of all four UMCA Directors, past and present, who, during their tenure, enabled the Museum to acquire significant works by artists who were emerging on the national and international scene.
“The goal of this exhibition is to uncover new connections and to invite innovative interpretations of the art in the collection. This has been our mantra since our beginning, and it will continue as our Teaching Museum becomes even more fully integrated into the fabric of our entire academic and local art communities”.
— Loretta Yarlow, Director
60 Years of Collecting and its related programs are supported by UMass Five College Federal Credit Union; Women for UMass; the Class of 1961 Artists Residency Fund; and The Massachusetts Review.
With gratitude to our campus partners and colleagues for their collaboration: Assistant Professor Kelsey Whipple, Department of Journalism; Professor Sohee Koo, Art Department.