For Immediate Release
Reinstallation of permanent collection and special exhibitions highlight summer season
May 30, 2014
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA––The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute celebrates the grand opening of its new campus on July 4, welcoming visitors to explore galleries and grounds and enjoy special Independence Day celebrations on the campus.
The Clark’s opening culminates Williamstown’s annual July 4 festivities. Following the conclusion of the town’s Independence Day parade on Spring Street, the Clark will welcome the community to enjoy a picnic lunch on the Institute’s front lawn beginning at noon. At 1 pm, an opening ceremony will be held at the main entrance to the Clark’s new Visitor Center, after which the Clark opens its doors. Galleries are open until 7 pm on July 4 and admission is free. At 7:30 pm, the Clark hosts a concert of patriotic music and American standards by The Eagles Band, followed by fireworks beginning at approximately 9 pm.
The Clark’s new Visitor Center, designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Osaka, Japan, features more than 11,000 square feet of special exhibition space, with galleries on two floors. A new Museum Store, café, and the main admissions desk are also housed in the glass, concrete, and granite building. Indoor and outdoor walkways connect the Visitor Center to the original Museum Building, which has been newly reconceived by Selldorf Architects, New York with renovated and expanded gallery spaces that increase overall gallery space by fifteen percent. A one-acre tiered reflecting pool is the focal point of a dramatic landscape design conceived by Reed Hilderbrand, Cambridge, Massachusetts, which unites the architecture with the 140-acre campus. The landscape design expands the Clark’s walking trails and provides new opportunities to view the spectacular Green Mountain and Taconic ranges that surround the campus.
At the time of the July 4 opening, the Clark’s noted permanent collection will be reinstalled in the Museum Building, which features new gallery spaces for American paintings and European sculpture and decorative arts. Seventy-three of the Clark’s French paintings return to the Institute following a three-year international tour to eleven cities that drew more than 2.6 million visitors worldwide.
In addition, the Clark presents three special exhibitions in the Visitor Center and at Stone Hill Center this summer.
In the Visitor Center, Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes from the Shanghai Museum opens in the West Pavilion on July 4. Cast for Eternity is drawn from the core of the Shanghai Museum’s exceptional collection of bronze vessels and bells dating from the late Xia through the Western Han dynasties (c. 1800 BCE–c. 8 CE). The thirty-two objects in the exhibition show the range of artistic expression and variety of sculptural forms realized during China’s Bronze Age. The exhibition is designed by Selldorf Architects, New York and is the first installation in the West Pavilion. Cast for Eternity is on view through September 21, 2014.
Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith opens at Stone Hill Center on July 4. The exhibition assembles nine sculptures and three paintings related to the artist’s Circle series (1962–63). Smith's boldly painted steel constructions will be on display both indoors and outdoors at the Tadao Ando-designed Stone Hill Center, resituating them against a Berkshires setting that is similar to (and less than one hundred miles away from) the Adirondack site where Smith created and installed them. The exhibition at the Clark explores the crucial role that industrial color and its relationship to nature played in the work of one of the twentieth century’s most influential and celebrated sculptors. The exhibition is on view through October 19, 2014.
On August 2, the Clark celebrates the opening of Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975 in the Visitor Center’s new special exhibition galleries. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Clark, Make It New examines the different paths taken by abstract painting in the first quarter-century of the postwar period, cutting across geographies and narrow timeframes as it evocatively engages Tadao Ando’s architecture. The exhibition presents Abstract Expressionist and color field masterpieces alongside other canonical works organized by the formal categories of pattern, texture, and shape. Featuring key works such as Jackson Pollock’s Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), Mark Rothko’s No. 1 (1961), and Lee Bontecou’s Untitled (1962), Make It New also includes paintings by Jean Dubuffet, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Ryman, and Cy Twombly. Make It New will be on view through October 13, 2014.
Manton Research Center
Following a recent decision to expand the scope of work on the Manton Research Center to include installation of a new skylight system over the central lobby area, the Clark will continue work on the renovation of this building throughout the summer.
“With our plans to convert the lobby area to a new reading room, we recognized that the space would be enhanced by finalizing work on the central skylight at the same time. We’ve chosen to replace the existing skylight with a far more beautiful and architecturally significant structure,” said Michael Conforti, the Clark’s director. “This change means that we will be removing a part of the roof system, which obviously entails an extended schedule.”
The Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center, will remain operational. A variety of events, lectures, and performances will be held in the auditorium throughout the summer. Both the east and west entrances to the Manton Research Center will be accessible, and a “pop-up” bookstore will be open in the east lobby, offering a wide range of Clark publications, art books, and other reference materials. The new spaces in the Manton Research Center, including the Manton Study Center for Works on Paper and adjacent gallery space, will become available on a rolling schedule beginning later in 2014.
About the Clark
The Clark Art Institute is one of only a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Opening season hours: Galleries open daily from July 4 through October 13, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm (Fridays in July and August until 7 pm). From October 14, 2014 through June 30, 2015: Galleries open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 through October 31, 2014; free from November 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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