In 1972, the first graduate
class entered the Clark in an innovative program co-sponsored by Williams College
and the Clark. This rigorous two-year program affords students a foundation for careers as academic and museum professionals. To accommodate such rapid growth, including an expanding library
and a redirected and enlarged educational initiative
, construction began on a new building, completed in 1973. Designed by Pietro Belluschi and The Architects Collaborative
, the Manton Research Center houses a library, graduate seminar rooms, galleries, offices, and an auditorium.
Key elements of the current renovation project, designed by Annabelle Selldorf
, include the transformation of the former visitor services courtyard into a new reading room, serving the 264,000-volume art library and bringing the public closer to the study of art; the Works on Paper Gallery and Study Center which will feature exhibitions of the Clark’s prints, drawings, and photography collection; the Manton Gallery for British Art; and a new Decorative Arts Gallery.
“By distilling the essential character of these two buildings with very different architectural vocabularies, we were able to create a wholly revamped and refreshed Museum and Manton Research Center,” says Annabelle Selldorf, principal of Selldorf Architects. “The design changes may appear subtle to some, but required precision and restraint at all times. The result will better serve the Clark’s dual mission
and enhance the visitor’s experience of the permanent collection