Celebrate American History and American Silver at Clark Family Event March 19

For Immediate Release

March 10, 2000

A colonial tea party, craft project, and silversmithing demonstration are just some of the children's activities planned for an American Silver Family Day at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, March 19, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The event celebrates the current exhibition A Fresh and Large Assortment: American Silver from the Burrows Collection, which explores the making and use of silver as well as the history of Colonial America. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information or reservations, call 413-458-2303, extension 363.

Throughout the afternoon, silversmith Stephen Smithers of Ashfield, Massachusetts, will demonstrate his craft. Smithers makes hand-hammered silver hollowware using the tools and techniques of traditional silversmithing. His designs are inspired by the classic forms of early American, such as those seen in A Fresh and Large Assortment.

At 1:00 p.m., the musical 1776 will be shown in the auditorium. The 1972 film is set in Philadelphia and tells the story of the creation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Directed by Peter H. Hunt, 1776 features songs by Sherman Edwards and stars William Daniels as John Adams, Howard da Silva as Benjamin Franklin, and Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson. Children may make "silver" magnets and pins from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. From 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., children ages four to ten will have a chance to dress in colonial costume and have their photograph taken with a real silver tea service ($1 per picture).

A Colonial tea party, complete with hostesses in costume, will be served in the café from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. The "kid-friendly" menu will include peanut butter and jelly tea sandwiches, fruit tarts, and teapot-shaped cookies. Guided tours of A Fresh and Large Assortment will be offered at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Also available from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. will be a self-guided "treasure hunt" tour of the silver exhibition, appropriate for children and adults to do together. A Fresh and Large Assortment explores the use of silver in the home in Colonial and Federal America as well as the lives and social customs of the people who used and created it.

Over one-hundred-fifty silver objects from the important private collection of Elizabeth H. Burrows and her late husband Henry Morris Burrows, ranging from shoe buckles and swords to tankards and teapots, are included. Paul Revere, Jacob Hurd, Myer Myers, and Joseph and Nathaniel Richardson are among the master silversmiths represented. A Fresh and Large Assortment is on view through April 30.

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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