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Russell Potter to Speak about the Arcticat the Clark March 17

For Immediate Release

March 08, 2002

Russell Potter, associate professor of English at Rhode Island College, will give the lecture "The Terrible Aspects of the Frigid Zone: The Arctic in 19th-Century Visual Culture" at the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, March 17, at 5:30 p.m. Potter has written numerous articles about the Arctic and popular culture. He is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of the Arctic and the editor of Arctic Book Review. His talk is offered in connection with the exhibition Arctic Diary: Paintings and Photographs by William Bradford. Admission is free.

Arctic Diary features the work of American artist William Bradford (1823-1892). Bradford, an important Luminist painter, made nine trips to the Arctic Circle, which inspired his paintings of icebergs, glaciers, ships, and frigid seascapes. In 1869 he documented his journey with 141 albumen photographs published in the travelogue The Arctic Regions: Illustrated with Photographs Taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland. In 1999, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute acquired the rare album as part of its ongoing initiative to build a collection of important early photography. The album has been disbound for necessary conservation treatment, providing a unique opportunity to display the individual photographs for a wide audience. The exhibition, on view February 17-May 5, 2002, features fifty photographs from the album, as well as oil paintings by Bradford and a group of pencil, charcoal, and oil sketches. Arctic Diary also includes the canvas The Panther in Melville Bay, commissioned by Queen Victoria and currently in the British Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. The painting will be exhibited publicly for the first time.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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