Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor Lecture December 8

For Immediate Release

November 24, 2009

Michael Cole will present the fall 2009 Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor Lecture “A Genealogy of Circumscription” on Tuesday, December 8, at 5:30 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Cole is associate professor of southern Renaissance and Baroque art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the fall 2009 Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor at Williams College. The Clark/Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art sponsors this free lecture.

Italian architect and author Leon Battista Alberti referred to circumscription, the drawing of contours, as “the first part of painting” and the mark on a flat plane that also establishes the illusion of three-dimensionality. For the next century arts writers repeatedly took up this topic, although by the 1540s circumscription had become something very different, with Michelangelo famously describing a marble that circumscribed the concept at which the hand needed to arrive. This talk will follow the transformations and competing Renaissance conceptions of the irreducible act of art-making.

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. The institute is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and 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 directors of art museums, curators, and scholars.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (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 younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

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