Inness Expert Michael Quick to Lecture at the Clark August 24

For Immediate Release

August 06, 2008

Michael Quick, a foremost authority on the works of artist George Inness, will discuss the spiritual aspirations embodied in the artist’s late paintings in a lecture titled “Higher Forms of Truth: The Late Works of George Inness” on Sunday, August 24, at 3 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Quick, author of the recently published Inness catalogue raisonné, will draw upon his knowledge of Inness’s life and career to offer insight into the paintings Inness produced in the final years of his life. Admission to the lecture is free.

Inness (1825-1894) achieved a manner of painting that seemed to dissolve, even distort, the physical world, as if to make the spiritual significance of nature visible through his paintings. Even as his health failed, Inness continued painting, driven as he said by a desire to develop “higher and higher forms of truth,” resulting in a style known to Inness and his contemporaries as “synthetic” painting. Quick will explore this style and how it was achieved through the willful elimination of detail. A number of the paintings Quick will discuss are on view at the Clark as part of the exhibition Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly including Summer, Montclair (New Jersey Landscape) (Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Frank Martucci); Home at Montclair (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute); Hazy Morning, Montclair (The Butler Institute of American Art);The Home of the Heron (The Art Institute of Chicago);and Eventide, Tarpon Springs, Florida (The Art Complex Museum).

Following graduate study in art history at Yale University, Quick pursued a career in the museum field, including seventeen years as curator of American art and department head at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has organized major exhibitions and published on American portraiture, Inness, Frank Duveneck, and George Bellows.

Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly is the first exhibition to explore “painting softly,” a distinctive and unexamined approach to painting exemplified in works by James McNeill Whistler and George Inness. Like Breath on Glass brings together forty paintings by leading American artists working around 1900, including Whistler, Inness, William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman, Eduard Steichen, and others, to examine this style of painting through which artists obscured their brush strokes. The exhibition is on view through October 19.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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