February 15, 2018
[Digital image available upon request]
Williamstown, Massachusetts—John Marciari, the Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, presents the free lecture “From Natural to Artificial and Back Again: Renaissance and Baroque Drawings from the Thaw Collection” at the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, March 4 at 3 pm. The lecture, held in conjunction with the Clark’s special exhibition Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, will be held in the auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center. Drawn to Greatness is on view through April 22, 2018.

The Renaissance and Baroque era saw a dramatic development in the types of drawings made by European artists. On one hand, new theories of naturalism changed the relationship of artists to the world around them. On the other hand, the elevated status of artists and the rise of a new class of connoisseurs and collectors led to a growing self-consciousness on the part of artists and new heights of artificiality in the kinds of drawings they made.

The lecture includes illustrated examples by Antonio di Puccio Pisano (Pisanello), Andrea Mantegna, Fra Bartolommeo, Albrecht Altdorfer, Claude Lorrain, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt van Rijn. Marciari traces the shift from model-book to sketch-book drawing in the early Renaissance; the development of new kinds of autonomous drawings and the mannered style often associated with them in the sixteenth century; and the revival of naturalism in the seventeenth century.

Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Presentation at the Clark is made possible by the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust. Major support is provided by the Fernleigh Foundation in memory of Clare Thaw. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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 270,000 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. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; EBT Card to Culture; Museums for All; Bank of America Museums on Us; and Blue Star. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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