Lecture Series Explores Rome During Different Historic Periods

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2009

Step back and examine Rome during different historic periods during the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s “When in Rome” series of lectures this fall. Clark staff will lead this series, a complement to the fall exhibition Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and Its Environs. Registration is not required but can be made by calling 413 458 0489. Cost is $8 per class ($5 for members) or $30 for the series ($18 for members). Lectures are held on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.

The series begins on October 22 with Michael Cassin, director of the Clark’s Center for Education in the Visual Arts, focusing on “Rome: The Age of the Emperors.” In the five centuries between the assassination of Julius Caesar and the deposition of the last emperor in the year 426, the Roman Empire spread its influence across much of Europe and North Africa, leaving behind an unparalleled cultural legacy. Emperor Augustus boasted that he found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. Cassin will look at some of the remarkable works of art and architecture constructed during the reigns of Augustus and his successors.

The remaining lectures in the series are “Rome: The Age of Industrialization” on October 29 with Jay Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs;
“Rome: The Age of the Popes” on November 5 with Tom Loughman, assistant deputy director; and Rome: “The Age of the Academies” on November 12 with Richard Rand, senior curator and curator of paintings and sculpture.

Technical innovations, artistic daring, and shifting socio-political circumstances led to a dramatic change in the photography of Rome in the late nineteenth century. Photographers of the Eternal City began to capture everyday scenes alongside ancient ruins, Baroque churches, and backstreets on the verge of being transformed by industrialization. Through the 100 images in Steps off the Beaten Path viewers today can step into a Rome that was about to step out of the pre-industrial age. The exhibition is on view at the Clark through January 3, 2010.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). 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 clarkart.edu.

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