Works by Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt in Special Exhibition at the Clark Art Institute

For Immediate Release

July 18, 2002

An exquisite small exhibition of American art from a private collection was recently secured by the Clark Art Institute and is currently on view through August 15. The selection of eleven works, never on public view before, includes paintings and watercolors by Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast, and Frederick Childe Hassam. The show features Mary Cassatt's pastel Girl with Blue Ribbons, drawn around 1903 at the peak of her career, close to the time she received France's Légion d'Honneur and enjoyed recognition as America's most eminent woman painter.

"I am thrilled that we can offer this extraordinary group of little known works to the large summer audiences coming to see our Vienna exhibits. This is a great opportunity for the Clark, one that both our seasonal visitors and residents of the Berkshires will appreciate and enjoy," declared Clark Director Michael Conforti.

Winslow Homer's amusing oil painting The Last Goose at Yorktown depicts two hungry Union soldiers trying to capture an elusive Confederate farm fowl during the Civil War. The painting was the first picture ever exhibited by Homer at the National Academy. Also on view by Homer are two luminous, silvery toned watercolors of coastal scenes. A pair of landscapes by William Merritt Chase, Early Morning Stroll in the Park and the slightly later (ca.1892) Sunny Day at Shinnecock Bay, illustrate the artist's transition from tentative to full-blown American Impressionism, coincident with his founding of the first important summer art school in America.

A similar pair of works illustrates successive points in the career of another American Impressionist, Frederick Childe Hassam. A Showery Day in Nantucket displays Hassam's early interest in street scenes affected by atmosphere and weather, painted in a tonal style dense in detail; while his mature watercolor Old Dutch Building, Fishkill, New York, of 1914 is a more loosely rendered and colorful representation of light, shade, and architecture. Rounding out the exhibit are a festive sailboat-racing scene by Edward Potthast; a watercolor view of bustling activity in the Riva San Biagio, Venice, by Maurice Prendergast; and a wash drawing of an elegant lady seated at a piano by John Singer Sargent.

The Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Throughout this exhibition, as well as the Clark's other summer shows devoted to the art and culture of Vienna, the galleries will be open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (members, students, and children free). For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

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