March 25 Clark Lecture Explores the History of Art From a Feminist Perspective

For Immediate Release

March 03, 2009

In 1971, the now-prominent art historian Linda Nochlin published an essay with the provocative title “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” On Wednesday, March 25, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s associate curator of European art Sarah Lees will ask “Have There Really Been No Great Women Artists?” bringing a present-day perspective to one of feminist art history’s original inquiries. The 7 pm lecture is held in conjunction with the Berkshires-wide recognition of International Women’s Day and its 2009 theme, “The Power of Women in the Arts.” Admission is free.

In Nochlin’s 1971 groundbreaking essay she asked under what conditions can any artist produce art that comes to be recognized as “great”? In her lecture, Lees 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.

Lees studied with Nochlin at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she earned her PhD in nineteenth-century French art. Lees is co-curator of the popular exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and Paris, on view through April 26. She will curate Giovanni Boldini in Impressionist Paris during the winter of 2010 and will contribute to the summer 2010 exhibition featuring the works of Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas.

In conjunction with the Berkshires-wide recognition of International Women’s Day, the Clark is also presenting the exhibition Women’s Work. Thirteen prints, drawings, and photographs created by women are featured through April 19. Take this special opportunity to see works by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Julia Margaret Cameron, Käthe Kollwitz, Doris Ulmann, Alice Burr, Anna Atkins, Berenice Abbott, and Berthe Morisot.

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


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