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Last Minute Holiday Shopping Ideas

For Immediate Release

November 27, 2002

Holiday shoppers seeking creative, last-minute gift ideas-and a respite from the crowds at the malls-may find what they are looking for at a nearby museum. Museum gift shops offer a unique items ranging from jewelry and housewares to art reproductions and books.

The museum shop at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown has a variety of items to suit the art lovers on your list. A popular new offering this season is a black zippered tote bag woven with a decorative detail from the Clark's famous "Marquand Piano," a Steinway grand designed in 1887 by British artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema for the Madison Avenue mansion of New York millionaire Henry Marquand. Made exclusively for the Clark, the bag sells for $50.

Museum membership is a gift that provides benefits to the recipient all year long, and the Clark's "Membership in a Box" makes it easy. The giver has no forms to fill out and has a tangible present to wrap. The box contains a Clark mug, a tin of the Clark's own "Sterling Blend" tea, information about the Clark and its programs, and a one-year family membership in Friends of the Clark. The recipient just sends in the enclosed reply card to begin receiving benefits, which include free admission year-round, discounts on public programs, and more. "Membership in a Box" is available at the shop for $75.

Gifts and stocking stuffers for under $10 include mugs ($7.95), architectural games by Ted Naus ($9.95), bookplates ($6 for a set of 20), and pocket or purse sized flashlights ($7.95). Wooden tree ornaments by local artist Kurt Meyer are priced from $9 to $18.

The Clark's shop also has games, puzzles, toys, and books for children of all ages. The large selection of books for adults includes catalogues from the Clark's popular recent exhibitions Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890 and Gustav Klimt Landscapes. Reproductions of beloved works of art from the Clark collection can be found in all sizes and shapes from magnets and mugs to posters and framed prints. Many items are also available at the Clark's online store at www.clarkart.edu.

Shoppers may wish to take a break from the bustle by visiting the Clark's collections of French Impressionist, Old Master, and American paintings. Admission to the Clark galleries is free throughout the holiday season.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries and museum shop are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day). For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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