2011 Programs


from MassMoCA website

Sunlight in an Empty Room (Passing Cloud for Emily Dickinson, Amherst, MA, August 28, 2004)

Spencer Finch
Artist's Residency at the Emily Dickinson Museum
April 26-28, 2011

Part of The Big Read 

Tuesday, April 26, 7-9 pm
Artist's Talk
The Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst

Thursday, April 28, 4 pm 
Installation opening at the Emily Dickinson Museum

Spencer Finch is a visual artist whose work has appeared in exhibitions and is part of the permanent collections of museums throughout the United States and the world.  Recent highlights include “Spencer Finch: My Business, with the Cloud” (2010) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington,  DC, and “As if the sea should part And show a further sea” (2009) at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. 

In 2007 Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, organized a major exhibition and catalog of Finch’s work called “What Time Is It on the Sun?”   Susan Cross, curator of the Mass MoCA exhibition, has written about  Finch: “. . . in his endeavors to understand the mechanics and mysteries of perception, Finch combines the same unexpected mix of science and art as the alchemists did in their investigations of the relationship between matter and spirit.  Whether Finch is in his studio or on one of his many journeys, he carefully records the visible world, while simultaneously striving to understand what might lie beyond it.  Whether he is relying on his own powers of observation or using a colorimeter, a device that reads the average color and temperature of light, the artist employs a scientific method to achieve poetic ends.” 

Finch’s efforts to understand perception are in part what draw him to Dickinson’s poetry.  Finch has visited the Emily Dickinson Museum several times in preparation for various installations.    Most notably, on a summer afternoon in 2004, Finch recorded the light on the lawn of Dickinson’s home in Amherst for his installation “Sunlight in an Empty Room (Passing Cloud for Emily Dickinson, Amherst, MA, August 28, 2004).” 

Finch lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


All Big Read programs are free. For other Big Read programs at the Emily Dickinson Museum, click here.  For more information about other 2011 events at the Museum, visit our Events page.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.  The Emily Dickinson Museum is one of 75 non-profit organizations throughout the United States to receive a grant to host a Big Read project this year. The Big Read gives local communities the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate together one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature.  For more information about The Big Read, visit www.neabigread.org.