Language as Object:
Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Visual Art
March 28 - June 1, 1997
Mead Art Museum
Amherst College
Public and Installation Art
by Aífe Murray

Map Installation

Margaret Maher's Amherst: An 8.5 x 11 inch format map with xerox art on reverse side, designed for taking self-guided tour of town from the Dickinson servants' perspective, especially Margaret Maher ("Maggie"), a Dickinson maid for 30 years, and her brother-n-law, Tom Kelley, a Dickinson groundsman and night watchman for Amherst College. The map will be distributed to participants in the public art walk on April 20, 1997 and will be available in the Mead Art Museum exhibit.

Do You Know Where You Are?!! Poster to site specifications, for installation on public bus interior advertising spaces in bus lines serving Northampton-Amherst regional area. Conceived in bright kelley green, the poster includes elements from Margaret Maher's Amherstof the 19th Century and contemporary Amherst.

Pantry Draw-er Museum Installation

Mixed media installation: Maid and poet's language and Maher's cultural iconography silk-screened on a kitchen table, apron, and napkins with domestic and religious objects. Can be previewed on the homepage.

Comments about their work by current Amherst College employees who clean and maintain the Dickinson Homestead and other college sites are made into handmade books and incorporated in the Pantry Draw-er installation.

Adjacent to Pantry Draw-er, visitors may pick up and keep a copy of Margaret Maher's Amherst to take a self-guided tour.

Kitchen Table Poetics Walk

Sunday, April 20, 1997, 2:00 p.m. Walk departs from Mead Art Museum. Led by Aífe Murray, this event features a "Walking-Spoken Word Event." This lecture on foot welcomes, as honored guests, descendants of Margaret Maher and Tom Kelley and the present day successors of those Dickinson employees who now maintain the Homestead and other College sites. Tour takes in four or five key Maher-Dickinson sites, in the space of an hour and a half, to illuminate the intertwining lives of maid Margaret Maher & her poet Emily Dickinson and the social production of art. Participants each receive a copy of the xerox art map Margaret Maher's Amherst. Local film students are invited to "record" the event, and poetry, other creative writing, and journalism students are asked to "document" it.

Art of Everyday Life Gallery Talk

Tuesday, April 22, 1997, 12:15 p.m. Mead Art Museum. Aífe Murray describes and discusses her exhibit installation.