The Clark Celebrates Women Artists with Exhibition and Lectures

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2009

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will celebrate the achievements of women artists in conjunction with the Berkshires-wide recognition of International Women’s Day and its 2009 theme, “The Power of Women in the Arts.” Thirteen prints, drawings, and photographs created by women will be featured in the exhibition Women’s Work on view February 21 through April 19. The lectures “Women at the Clark,” on March 11, and “Have There Really Been No Great Women Artists?” on March 25, both at 7 pm, examine the Clark’s co-founder Francine, the women artists represented in the Clark’s collection, and feminist art history. Admission to the galleries and lectures is free.

Selected from the Clark’s collection of over 5,000 works on paper, Women’s Work gives the public an opportunity to celebrate women artists in the Clark’s collection. Eight artists represent four countries and their work spans 130 years. Take this special opportunity to see After the Bath, Woman and Baby, and The Visit, by Mary Cassatt; The Angel at the Sepulchre and The Kiss of Peace, by Julia Margaret Cameron; Self Portrait by Käthe Kollwitz; Untitled (Man Wearing a Hat) by Doris Ulmann; Woman and Child and Canal in Venice by Alice Burr; South America by Anna Atkins; two untitled photographs of New York by Berenice Abbott; and Before a Yacht by Berthe Morisot.

“Women at the Clark,” a lecture by assistant curator of education Danielle Steinmann on March 11, will highlight the Clark’s co-founder Francine Clary Clark and discuss great women artists in the Clark’s collection, including Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. Steinmann will also give a preview of the summer 2009 exhibition, which features the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, who has fascinated critics, scholars, and art lovers alike since she burst onto the New York art scene in the early 1900s.

Associate curator of European art Sarah Lees will broach the question “Have There Really Been No Great Women Artists?” on March 25, bringing feminist art historical criticism into the present day. In 1971, the now-prominent art historian Linda Nochlin published an essay with the provocative title “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Under what conditions, she asked, can any artist produce art that comes to be recognized as “great”? This lecture will revisit the question in order to explore how it was answered then, how it might be answered today, and why the question itself is still powerful.

The First Annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts will feature more than sixty events at thirty venues that will include film screenings, exhibitions, performances, talks, and more throughout the Berkshires during the month of March. Presented by The Women’s Times, the festival will include diverse programming that ranges from the historical to contemporary, traditional to radical, political to apolitical. Venues run the spectrum from the Berkshires’ most established cultural organizations to new and improvised locations. There are opportunities for festival-goers to examine the role of women in the arts, celebrate the achievements of women artists, or simply enjoy a diverse cross section of artistic work. For information, visit www.thewomenstimes.com.

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

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