CLARK ART INSTITUTE LAUNCHES CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM WITH CHINESE MUSEUMS

For immediate release
October 9, 2015         
 
Williamstown, Massachusetts—A newly created cultural exchange fellowship developed by the Clark Art Institute and the Shanghai Museum, Chinese Museums Association (CMA), and other partners in China will bring rising Chinese museum curators to the Clark for training in professional museum practice. The program has been made possible by a $125,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
 
Over the next fifteen months, the Clark will host six visiting scholars from China who will participate in a semester-long experience in a variety of museum and academic activities. In its inaugural semester, the Clark is hosting Gong Xin and Huang He, two emerging leaders from the exhibition and conservation staff at the Shanghai Museum. Candidates were nominated by their directors and entrusted with a research project suitable to the nature and opportunities of the fellowship. Fellows are encouraged to experience the intellectual life of the Clark and Williamstown, including participation in conferences, symposia, workshops, colloquia, and lectures by visiting scholars.   
 
“The three-month fellowship gives me plenty of time to learn the history and development of the museum, and to enlighten the future of Shanghai Museum,” said Huang. “The Clark’s facilities provide an excellent setting in which to consider art museum practices, and I find the contemplative setting most beneficial.”
 
Building on a legacy of engagement with China, the Clark has been actively involved in a series of exceptional cultural exchange projects with colleagues and institutions in China since 2007. Robert Sterling Clark spent nearly a decade in China early in the twentieth century, first as a junior officer in the U.S. Army and later as the organizer and leader of a major scientific expedition across the northwestern provinces of Shanxi and Gansu in 1908-09.
 
“The Clark is the first art museum in North America to create an exchange program of this character,” said Tom Loughman, associate director of program and planning. “For years, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation maintained a program that brought Chinese museum directors to the United States for a one-month sojourn. Our program is different in that it encourages an immersive learning experience through a peer-to-peer exchange between mid-career professionals.”
 
Gong Xin is the assistant curator in the Exhibition Department of the Shanghai Museum. Before joining the Shanghai Museum, she earned a Masters of Arts in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2007) and interned at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2009-10). In the past five years, she has co-curated three exhibitions and assisted in the preparation of ten exhibitions, including the Clark’s Great French Paintings tour (2013) and Sterling Clark in China (2013). At the Clark, she is studying exhibition planning and development, art history, digital platforms, publishing, and fundraising.
 
Huang He is a conservator and assistant curator in the Research Laboratory for Conservation and Archaeology at the Shanghai Museum. Before arriving at the Shanghai Museum he earned a Masters of Arts in Principles of Conservation and a Masters of Science in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums from the Institute of Archaeology at the University College London (2005-08). At the Shanghai Museum, his work has primarily focused on preventative conservation and the conservation of inorganic objects. He is also part of a museum-wide junior team planning for a new building opening in 2022. At the Clark, he is studying principles and techniques of preventative conservation, building, financial planning, and fundraising.
 
ABOUT THE HENRY LUCE FOUNDATION
 
The Henry Luce Foundation (www.hluce.org) was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities. The Luce Foundation pursues its mission today through the following grant-making programs: American Art; East and Southeast Asia; Luce Scholars; Theology; Higher Education; the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs; Public Policy; and the Clare Boothe Luce Program for women in science, mathematics, and engineering. 
 
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of 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, consisting of 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. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; 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.