Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum Receives $3 Million Gift

Sue and John Wieland, longtime supporters of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts, gifted $3 million in support of contemporary art acquisitions and the endowment of its director and chief curator positions. To celebrate the gift, sixty works from the Wielands will be on display in the exhibition “House: Selections From the Collection of John and Sue Wieland,” opening February 8. Works by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Félix González-Torres, Martha Rosler, and Ai Weiwei will be included in the show.

“We are deeply grateful to John and Sue Wieland for this generous gift to Amherst and for their commitment to ensuring that the Mead’s exhibitions, educational programming, and collection-building continue to serve and delight everyone in our community and beyond,” Amherst College president, Biddy Martin, said in a statement.

From the mid-1980s until 2005, the Wielands collected works by artists based in the United States. Their initial focus was on pieces that explore the idea of home, or feature houses, because of John’s business as a builder. After expanding to international acquisitions, in 2010 they created what they call a “wareHOUSE” to store and present a majority of their work.

“Visits to the Mead were a formative part of my experience at Amherst, though I certainly could not have predicted at the time that I would be so fortunate as to have a collection of my own,” said John Wieland, class of 1958. “Sue and I are thrilled to be able to support the museum with a gift that will sustain the institution over time, and give back to the college in a way that is deeply meaningful for us personally. It is also a great pleasure to be able to share our passion for art with the Amherst community through this exhibition.”