The Center’s mission is to promote the study of Russian culture and history on the strength of its world-class book, archival and art collections. It sponsors activities that support advanced research by Amherst undergraduates, College faculty, and a broad community of scholars: local, regional, national, and international. The Center organizes symposia, lectures, student presentations, cultural events, and publications that seek to serve the scholarly community and the broader public interested in some of the most advanced research undertaken on Russian culture and history today.


From Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine (2017)

...Most of us in the Western world have little firsthand knowledge of war. Normally, we are not forced to face war, fight in a war, flee from war. We don't get tortured, see our homes and schools collapse, lose relatives and friends to war, spend months locked up in basements "because this is war." When we do get involved, as soldiers, journalists, or relief workers, we go to war or get sent to war - war does not come to us. Those of us who do not go and have not been to war are nevertheless aware of war, sometimes at a deep level. Yet this awareness is usually indirect: it requires inference. Like with a disease, we first encounter symptoms, these heralds of disruption reaching us from regions both intimate and strange. Even as we trace the tremors and the fevers back to the original cause, the source of the disturbance itself stays hidden from view. Many of us in the West have lived with wars for significant parts of our lives, wars that mostly remained out of sight. These hidden wars have become a part of us, shaping our minds, affecting the words, images, and concepts with which we think.

—from the preface to Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine, by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky.


A modern statue of an animal in black on a pedestal

Alexander Archipenko (b. 1887 Ukraine, Russian Empire-d. 1964), "Torso in Space," Bronze on Wood Base. Mead Art Museum. Gift of Julia A. Whitney Foundation.

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture adds its name to the ranks of people and organizations outraged by Russia's war in Ukraine and the suffering the Putin government inflicts upon the country and its people. We express our solidarity with those, in Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere, who oppose this war—often at profound risk to themselves—and our deepest sympathies for those living with staggering fear and fearing for those they love.

We join the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute’s call “in its support of Ukraine and its peoples, by sharing factual information on Ukraine and the war and offering what support we can to those whose livelihoods and lives hang in the balance.”

Please find here the collection of statements by museums and cultural organizations on the invasion of Ukraine: Collection of Statements on the Invasion of Ukraine.


Russian Center Highlights

A walll of colorful Russian prints

Explore the Collections

Explore our collection of books, manuscripts, and other materials representing the depth of Russian cultural achievement.

A woman giving a lecture at a podium in front of a painting

Current Initiatives

The Center undertakes a number of initiatives to advance scholarly and undergraduate research in Russian Studies.

People standing in a gallery looking at art on walls

On View

Learn about the exhibits currently on view at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture’s gallery, located in the Webster Hall.


A group of four people having a discussion in an art gallery surrounded by books

Events at the Center

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture holds numerous events throughout the year, including shows at our newly renovated gallery space. Learn more about recent and upcoming events at the Center.

Thomas Whitney

About Us

Learn more about the Amherst Center for Russian Culture—from its founding in 1991 to its current mission and collection development. You can also find contact information for the Center’s current staff.