Thought-Provoking Academic Lectures at the Clark in February and March

For Immediate Release

February 02, 2009

National and international scholars, art critics, and museum professionals selected as Clark Fellows present thought-provoking and intriguing lectures at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute during the academic year. These free scholarly lectures are open to the public and held on selected Tuesdays at 5:30 pm. Refreshments are served.

Fellows Lectures scheduled during February and March are:

Clark Fellow Claudine Cohen, Maître de Conférences at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) in Paris, will present the lecture “Studies in Paleolithic Art (1859-2009)” on February 17. Cohen is the author of numerous studies on prehistory, on prehistoric art, and on the notion of prehistory and paleontology, including L’homme des Origines (Paris, 1999), La Femme des origines (Paris, 2003), Le Destin du Mammouth (Paris, 2004), and most recently, Un Néandertalien dans le metro (A Neanderthal in the Subway) (Paris, 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.

On March 3, Clark-Oakley Fellow Aamir Mufti will present the lecture “Parting Lines: The Iconography of India's Partition.” 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 nineteenth- and twentieth-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 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.

Clark Fellow Charles Palermo, assistant professor of art history at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, will present the lecture “Picasso’s False Gods” on March 17. His work focuses on early- twentieth-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 analyzes 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.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has announced 17 Clark Fellows for the 2008-2009 academic year. Clark fellowships are awarded to national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals whose work extends and enhances the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture. The program encourages a critical commitment to research in the theory, history, and interpretation of works from all periods and genres. 

Since its inception in 2000, the Clark’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, this year underway with institutions based in Paris and Johannesburg.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism with an international fellowship program; regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia; and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of art museum directors, curators, and scholars.

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


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