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2009 Academic Lectures and Symposia at the Clark

For Immediate Release

January 05, 2009

Since its inception in 2000, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program has earned an international reputation as a foremost center for advancing the study of visual arts and for educating the next generation of art historians, professors, and museum directors and curators. The program engages the world’s most creative and innovative visual arts scholars, from Clark Fellows who travel to Williamstown from throughout the world to pursue their research while in residence at the Clark, to prominent participants in pioneering international research collaborations.

Academic lectures and symposia scheduled for 2009 include:

February 17, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Claudine Cohen: “Studies in Paleolithic Art (1859-2009)”

Claudine Cohen is Maître de Conférences at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) in Paris. She is the author of numerous studies on prehistory, on prehistoric art, and on the notion of prehistory and paleontology, including L’homme des Origines (1999), La Femme des origines (2003), Le Destin du Mammouth (2004), and most recently, Un Néandertalien dans le metro (A Neanderthal in the Subway) (2007). Her Clark project is a critical study of the history of knowledge on paleolithic art throughout western Europe (1859–2009) as a scientific endeavor and a hermeneutical enterprise.

March 3, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Aamir Mufti: “Parting Lines: The Iconography of India’s Partition”

Aamir Mufti is associate professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His academic training is in literature and anthropology, and his areas of specialization include colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a primary focus on India and Britain, and 19th- and 20th-century Urdu literature in particular; Marxism and aesthetics; Frankfurt School critical theory; minority cultures; and the history of anthropology. He is the author of Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (2007) and co-editor of Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (1997). His work has appeared in such periodicals as Social Text, Critical Inquiry, Subaltern Studies, boundary 2, and the Village Voice. His Clark-Oakley project undertakes a new understanding of the artistic representation of India's partition in comparative and global terms. The focus will be on the work of Zarina, a New York-based printmaker.

March 13 and 14 - “Image and Movement: Film Studies and Art History” Symposium

This symposium brings together scholars of film, art, and culture to discuss the relationships between film and art, and between film studies and art history. Key figures such as Sergei Eisenstein, key genres such as landscape, and key crossovers like the museum film will be part of the discussion. The symposium is convened by Angela Dalle Vacche of Georgia Institute of Technology. Participants include Lynda Nead, Ian Christie, Thomas Elsaesser, and Dudley Andrew. On Friday, the films Russian Ark and A Visit to the Louvre will be shown at 9:15 am with discussions beginning at 2 pm. Discussions resume at 9:30 am on Saturday. The symposium is supported by a generous grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation. Tickets are $25/adult; $15/student, free for Williams students and faculty. Register at www.clarkart.edu or 413-458-0460.

March 17, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Charles Palermo: “Picasso's False Gods”

Charles Palermo is assistant professor of art history at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. His work focuses on early 20th-century modernism, and he is the author of Fixed Ecstasy: Joan Miró in the 1920s (2008) and of numerous articles in October, Art Bulletin, MLN, and other journals. His Clark project analyses divisions within bodies in Picasso's “Blue”- and “Rose”- period work and uses them to explore themes (ambiguity between sacred and profane attitudes, etc.) through the work of Paul Gauguin, Paul Verlaine, Charles Morice, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Picasso.

April 7, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Jill Bennett: “Practical Aesthetics”

Jill Bennett is associate dean and director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics in the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. Her latest book, Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma, and Contemporary Art (2005), is a theoretical analysis of art dealing with trauma and conflict from places such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, Colombia, and indigenous Australia. She has co-curated several exhibitions at the Centre, including African Marketplace (2002) and Prepossession (2005). Her Clark project is “practical aesthetics” through a study of art’s relationship to real events. She will analyze the event as an aesthetic entity, focusing on perceptual and affective relationships, to demonstrate the practical value of aesthetic inquiry.

April 14, 5:30 pm - A Conversation with Svetlana Alpers

Svetlana Alpers’s books have fundamentally changed people's understanding of 17th-century Dutch art, and of Rubens, Tiepolo, and Velasquez among others. Alpers, a renowned art historian, will discuss her life, career, engagements, and interests with the Clark’s Starr Director of Research and Academic Programs Michael Holly and Williams College associate professor of art history Stefanie Solum.

April 21, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Piotr Piotrowski: “New Museums in East-Central Europe: Between Traumaphobia and Traumatophilia”

Piotr Piotrowski is professor ordinarius of art history and chair of the Institute of Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. He is the author of many books, articles, and chapters on eastern European modernism and contemporary art, including Metafizyka obrazu (The Metaphysics of the Picture: On the Art Theory and Artistic Attitude of S.I.Witkiewicz) (1985), Znaczenia modernizmu: W strone historii sztuki polskiej po 1945 roku (Meanings of Modernism: Towards a History of Polish Art after 1945) (1999). His Clark project, entitled New Art - New Democracy, is a book project that aims at the analysis of the relationship between art and politics in post-communist Europe on such levels as gender, historical memory, and the analysis of new institutions.

April 28, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Saloni Mathur: “Charles and Ray Eames in India”

Saloni Mathur is associate professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her areas of interest include the visual cultures of modern South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, colonial studies and postcolonial criticism, the relationship between modern ethnography and the artistic avant-garde, museum studies, and feminist criticism. She has published in such interdisciplinary sites as Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Third Text, Parachute, Art Bulletin, and the Art Journal, and has recently completed a book titled India by Design: Colonial History and Cultural Display (2007). Her Clark project is concerned with the activities of Charles and Ray Eames in India. It is part of a future book-length project on the relationship of post-independence India to an international modernism of the 1950s and 1960s.

Public lectures that may be of interest to the academic community:

March 10, 5:30 pm - Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor Lecture

In his lecture, “The Rhetoric of Images: Le Corbusier’s Lectures,” Tim Benton, lecturer in the History of Art, Open University (Milton Keynes, England), will demonstrate how Le Corbusier used transparencies, film, and drawings to get his message across and how his lectures provided him with many of the new ideas which he later fed into his published work. Although plentiful material exists—notes, sketches, some transcripts, and a few transparencies—this study requires detective work and some speculation, since the lectures themselves were extempore.

April 16, 7 pm - Monuments in Peril: Venice

Experts of various fields will discuss the current challenges facing the great city of Venice. The panel will feature Dr. Fabio Carrera, an urban information scientist and director of the Venice Project Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Frederick Ilchman, the Mrs. Russell W. Baker Assistant Curator of Paintings, Art of Europe, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and board member of Save Venice; Dr. Eugene J. Johnson, architectural historian and professor of art at Williams College; and Dr. Ralph Lieberman, photographer, independent scholar, and professor of architectural history at Rhode Island School of Design.

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

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