Summer Programs at the Clark Art Institute

For Immediate Release

May 10, 2002

Lectures, concerts, films, an authentic Viennese biergarten, and an outdoor family festival are among the public programs to be offered at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute this summer in connection with the exhibition Gustav Klimt Landscapes. The exhibition, the first devoted to the landscapes of Viennese Symbolist Gustav Klimt, will be on view June 16 through September 2, and will be accompanied by three focused exhibitions about Vienna in the 18th and 19th centuries: Josef Hoffmann: Homes of the Wittgensteins, Bernardo Bellotto: Views of Imperial Vienna, and Otto Wagner: The Academy of Fine Arts.

The celebration will begin on Saturday, May 25, from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., with the "Viva Vienna!" Opening Celebration of "The Vienna Project" at MASS MoCA. The dance party presented by the Clark, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) will include waltzing to the music of Sex Mob and dancing to the digital sound and video of DJ/VJ Blow Up! Vienna. Tickets are $17 ($14 for members of the Clark, MASS MoCA, and WCMA, $8 for children). For tickets, call 413-662-2111.

Stephan Koja, curator of 19th-century painting at the Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, and guest curator of Gustav Klimt Landscapes will give an opening lecture on Sunday, June 9, at 4:30 p.m. His talk "Timeless Beauty: The Landscapes of Gustav Klimt," is for members of the Clark, part of a members-only preview day. New members are welcome; for more information call the membership office at 413-458-2303, extension 259.

The Clark will also offer four public lectures related to the summer exhibitions. On Sunday, June 23, at 3:00 p.m., National Public Radio correspondent David D'Arcy and Jane Kallir, co-director of the Galerie St. Etienne in New York, will discuss issues of Nazi-era art looting. On Sunday, July 14, at 3:00 p.m., Irene Montjoye, professor of comparative literature and cultural studies at Webster University in Vienna, will present "The Hapsburgs as Patrons of the Arts." "The Women of the Secession" will be the topic of a lecture by Emily Braun, associate professor of art history at Hunter College, City University of New York, on Sunday, July 28, at 3:00 p.m. Christian Witt-Dörring, guest curator of Josef Hoffmann: Homes of the Wittgensteins, will close the series on Sunday, August 11, with the 3:00 p.m. talk "Jugendstil Design." Admission to all lectures is free.

On Fridays the Clark will present the film series "Projections of Vienna." The series will look at the Austrian city from a variety of angles, from musicals and comedies to historical epics and romances. Opening the series will be a special screening of the director's cut of Amadeus at Images Cinema on Friday, June 21, at 4:00 p.m. Regular Images prices apply; visitors presenting an admission button from the Clark galleries will be admitted free. All other films will be shown in the Clark auditorium free of charge: Immortal Beloved (June 28), Mahler (July 5), The Great Waltz (July 12), The Emperor Waltz (July 19), La Ronde (July 26), The Wedding March (August 2), Mayerling (August 9), Colonel Redl (August 16), The Third Man (August 23), and Before Sunrise (August 30). All screenings begin at 4:00 p.m.

Following the films on four Fridays in June and July, the Clark's grounds will be the site of an outdoor Viennese Biergarten, complete with live music and food. Austrian and German fare will be available for sale, as will a sampling of the best Austrian and German wines and beers. The Biergarten will be open from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on June 21, June 28, July 5, and July 12.

On four Tuesdays in July, at 6:00 p.m., the Clark will continue its tradition of free outdoor concerts on the South Lawn. Picnics, lawn chairs, and blankets are encouraged. Local acoustic group The Flying Garbanzos will kick off the series on July 9, followed by Mac McHale and the Old Time Radio Gang on July 16, and the Steve Murray Seven on July 23. Rounding out the series will be a performance of American and Austrian music by the Quintessential Brass Quintet on July 30. In the event of rain, the concerts will take place in the auditorium.

On Sunday, July 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the "Vienna Willkommen" Family Day will fill the Clark grounds with the sights and sounds of Vienna. Entertainment will include a showcase by Berkshire organizations participating in "The Vienna Project." Activities planned include woodcarving and silversmithing demonstrations, yodeling lessons, gallery talks of the Vienna exhibitions, and performance on the alphorn, the traditional long horns played by shepherds in the Alps. Food vendors will offer spaetzle, strudel, and schnitzel as well as pizza, ice cream, and other "kid-friendly" fare. Admission is free.

On Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3, leading historians of Viennese politics, philosophy, psychoanalysis, music, and art will examine the cultural history of Vienna around 1900 in the symposium, "Viennese Ghosts: Culture and Politics." Peter Gay, scholar of Viennese culture and director of the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, will begin the symposium with the "Tales of Hoffmann" on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Scheduled to speak on Saturday from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. are: Esther da Costa Meyer, assistant professor of art and archaeology at Princeton University; Lydia Goehr, professor of philosophy at Columbia University; Michael S. Roth, president of California College of Arts and Crafts; Michael Steinberg, professor of history at Cornell University; and James Edward Young, professor of English and chair of Judaic and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Tickets for the Saturday afternoon program are $15 ($12 for members and students). Admission to Peter Gay's lecture is free; preference for seating will be given to those registered for Saturday. To register, call 413-458-2303, extension 324.

On the second Tuesday of each month at 12:30, the lunchtime lecture series "Desert Island Pictures" provides half-hour talks about individual works of art. This summer's topics will be Pissarro's The Louvre from the Pont Neuf on June 13, Monet's Rouen Cathedral, The Façade in Sunlight on July 11, and Gérôme's The Snake Charmer on August 8. Desert Island Picture talks are free to members of the Clark.

Gustav Klimt Landscapes

The landscapes of the great Viennese Symbolist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) are as sensuous and lush as the female portraits for which he is best known, yet they are virtually unknown outside of Austria. Gustav Klimt Landscapes presents Klimt's colorful, poetic, and modern landscape paintings to North American audiences for the first time, demonstrating Klimt's range and establishing him as a landscapist of exceptional daring. Created from the 1890s until the artist's death in 1918, these large-scale landscapes depict the orchards, woods, gardens, and mountains of his home. The Clark is the only North America venue for Gustav Klimt Landscapes, which travels this fall to the Galerie Belvedere, Vienna.

Josef Hoffmann: Homes of the Wittgensteins

Josef Hoffmann (1879-1953) was a leading figure in Vienna's art revival. Born in Moravia in 1870, Hoffmann founded the influential Wiener Werkstatte and was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, and his decorative arts greatly influenced the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States in the early 20th century. This exhibition recreates the aesthetic atmosphere of turn-of-the-century Vienna through Hoffmann's work commissioned by the family of Karl Wittgenstein from the late 1880s to 1905. The exhibition includes furniture, silver, and some 55 design drawings by Hoffmann.

Otto Wagner: The Academy of Fine Arts

Otto Wagner (1841-1918) was the leading architect of late imperial Vienna, creating such famous buildings as the Landerbank, the Majolica House, and the Post Office Savings Bank. In 1898, he proposed a design for a new Academy of Fine Arts, which, though never built, was among the most important works of his career. This exhibition will include Wagner's elaborate presentation watercolors and drawings for the opulent design, as well as a three-foot-high, three-dimensional gilded model presented to the Emperor Franz Joseph.

Bernardo Bellotto: Views of Imperial Vienna

Bernardo Bellotto's (1721-1780) detailed views of Vienna from the 1750s and 1760s show scenes of rococo Vienna's streets, parks, and palaces. These paintings were commissioned by Empress Marie Theresa and are now among the great treasures of the city's Kunsthistoriches Museum. View of Vienna from the Belvedere depicts Vienna from the elevated grounds of the Belvedere palace, while The Freyung, Vienna, from the Northwest, shows inner city streets.

The Clark museum shop will offer a large array of merchandise related to the exhibitions, including posters and the catalogue for Gustav Klimt Landscapes. The Clark will offer two food service options this summer. The restaurant will provide full luncheon service with food by CulinArt, including Viennese-inspired options. Please call ahead for menu and hours of operation. In addition, a café recreating the atmosphere of a Vienna coffeehouse will feature beverages, snacks, and "grab and go" sandwiches and salads to eat in or take out onto the Clark's grounds. Picnic tables are available throughout the Clark's park-like grounds. The 140-acre campus and its meadows, hiking trails, and gardens are always open to the public.

The Vienna Project

The Clark's Vienna exhibitions are part of "The Vienna Project," a six-month series of exhibitions, programs, and special events celebrating the rich and vibrant art and culture of Vienna in the beautiful setting of the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts.  Spanning the age of Mozart to today, The Vienna Project includes visual arts, theater, film, opera, and classical and popular music. Participating organizations are: the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, MASS MoCA, Tanglewood, Shakespeare & Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Opera, the Berkshire Museum, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and the Berkshire Choral Festival. For more information visit www.berkshirearts.org. The wide range and quality of cultural organizations in Berkshire County-which rivals that of a major city-as well as the area's scenic beauty and outdoor recreation make the Berkshires "America's Premier Cultural Resort." For information on lodging, dining, and travel visit www.berkshires.org or call 1-800-237-5747.

The Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Throughout the exhibitions, the Clark galleries will be open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (members, students, and children free) and includes all special exhibitions and permanent collection galleries. Advance reservations are not required. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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