A Teaching Museum
The University Museum of Contemporary Art is a multidisciplinary laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. As the teaching museum of UMass Amherst, it is our goal to be a resource for faculty and to enhance your teaching through innovative exhibitions, public programing, educational opportunities for students, guided tours, and in-depth collaborative exchanges. Using Visual Thinking Strategies and close-looking techniques, we provide tools for students to think, feel, reflect, and connect to the work they see, no matter their area of study or discipline.
Plan a Class Visit
We ask that all visits to the UMCA be scheduled through our online form, and then we encourage a phone call with the Education Curator to discuss your goals for the visit. The more we know about your teaching objectives, the better we can plan a worthwhile experience for you at the UMCA.
To plan a visit for your class, please fill out this online form here.
Please contact us at least 2 weeks in advance of your desired visit date.
Review the UMCA Visitor Guidelines in advance of your visit. We ask that no food, drink, large bags, or pens be brought into the Museum. We provide pencils if needed. We ask that you share these guidelines with your students before they arrive. The pdf can be uploaded to your Moodle class management site or sent directly to students prior to their Museum visit.
Past examples include Cross Town Contemporary Art, a series of temporary public art installations linking UMass to Amherst, organized in collaboration with the Department of Art and Architecture and the Town of Amherst. Art + Math = was a multi-day symposium and concert exploring the intersections of these two disciplines; it included faculty and students from the departments of Math, Engineering, Art & Architecture, and Music & Dance.
Please view our full list of current and past events to learn more about how we’ve worked across disciplines to support innovative contemporary art experiences and to expand learning at UMass.
To discuss your ideas and explore possibilities of future interdisciplinary collaborations, please contact UMCA Education Curator Amanda Herman.
Explore Our Collection
The University Museum of Contemporary Art collection was started by professor emeritus Walter Kamys in 1962 as a teaching collection for art students. It has grown to over 3000 pieces, with on focus of works on paper. It is the most expansive compilation of contemporary photographs, drawings, and prints to be housed in a Massachusetts public institution outside of Boston.
The UMCA is part of the Five College Museums/Historic Deerfield computerization project, which integrates the collections of the area's museums and makes their respective holdings accessible for purposes of study and research. All images of works in the University Museum of Contemporary Art Collection are identified with “UM” affixed to their accession number.
Access the collection online here.