Clark to Offer Free Preview Week for Area ResidentsJune 10-15

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2002

Residents of Berkshire, Bennington, Columbia, and Rensselaer Counties are invited to preview the exhibition Gustav Klimt Landscapes at the Clark Art Institute during the week of June 10 through June 15. Activities planned for area residents during Community Preview Week include daily gallery talks, community receptions, and behind-the-scenes tours of the Clark's library and print room. Each day the Clark will host a different community:

  • Monday, June 10: Pittsfield and central Berkshire County, including the towns of Lanesboro, Dalton, Berkshire, and Hinsdale.
  • Tuesday, June 11: Northern Berkshire County including North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Savoy, Florida, and Clarksburg
  • Wednesday, June 12: Southern Berkshire County including Lenox, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Lee, Becket, Monterey, South Egremont, and Sheffield.
  • Thursday, June 13: Bennington County, Vermont.
  • Friday, June 14: Columbia and Rensselear Counties, New York.
    Saturday, June 15: greater Williamstown and New Ashford.

Community Preview Week is sponsored in part by New England Newspapers, Inc., publishers of The Berkshire Eagle, North Adams Transcript, and Bennington Banner.

Gustav Klimt Landscapes is one of four exhibitions opening officially at the Clark on June 16. Also included in the preview week are Josef Hoffmann: Homes of the Wittgensteins, Otto Wagner: The Academy of Fine Arts, and Bernardo Bellotto: Views of Imperial Vienna. All four exhibitions focus on the art and architecture of Vienna, and an introductory gallery will explore the history and culture of the Austrian capital.

During Preview Week, the museum will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Gallery talks will be offered at 11:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Throughout the week, area residents receive free rental of the Clark's audio guide. Each evening at 6:15 p.m., the Clark invites residents to meet Clark staff at an informal community reception.

In addition to the exhibitions, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about other aspects of the Clark and its programs during Community Preview Week. Tours of the Clark's research library (open to the public year-round) will be offered at 11:00 a.m. (Monday through Friday only); attendees will learn more about the library resources that are available to the public as well as the research and academic community served by the Clark. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., visitors may go behind the scenes to visit the Clark's print room to see rarely-displayed prints, drawings, and photographs, such as pastels by Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas, watercolors by Winslow Homer, and 16th-century prints by Albrecht Dürer. Visitors are also encouraged to pick up a trail map and explore the Clark's 140-acre campus, including gardens, nature trails, and picnic areas.

Once the exhibitions open officially on June 16, adult admission is $10. Members, students, and children 18 and under are admitted free. Gustav Klimt Landscapes and the related exhibitions are on view June 16 through September 2, 2002.

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 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 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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