For Immediate Release

November 17, 2011

 Impressionistes: Mestres francesos de la colecció Clark
Opens November 17, 2011–February 12, 2012

International Tour of Clark Impressionist Collection Sets New Attendance Record in France

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, November 17, 2011 – The third stop on the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s international tour of masterpieces from its collection of nineteenth-century European paintings will open at CaixaForum in Barcelona on November 17, 2011. Impressionistes: Mestres francesos de la colecció Clark continues the Clark’s commitment to global outreach and cultural exchange and marks the Clark’s third exhibition in Spain in the last year.

Open to the public from November 17, 2011 through February 12, 2012, the exhibition features 72 paintings, including works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Camille Pissarro, as well as those by Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme.  

The Clark’s international tour comes to CaixaForum from the Musée des impressionnismes in Giverny, France, where it garnered critical praise and set new attendance records for the museum. The exhibition, which closed in Giverny on October 31, attracted more than 129,000 visitors.

“We are so pleased to bring the Clark’s collection of French paintings to Barcelona,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “The people of Spain gave the Clark’s Renoir exhibition at the Prado and Picasso Looks at Degas exhibition tremendous receptions last fall, and we are truly pleased to have the opportunity to share more of our collection with a country that has such a passion for great art.”

In October 2010, the Museo Nacional del Prado’s presented the Clark’s Renoir collection in Spain’s first monographic exhibition of works by the Impressionist master, Pasión por Renoir: La colección del Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The exhibition drew some 370,000 visitors, making it the fourth most-visited special exhibition in the Prado’s history. At the same time, Barcelona’s Museu Picasso opened the Spanish presentation of the Clark’s critically acclaimed Picasso davant Degas exhibition and welcomed more than 142,000 visitors over three months.

“The Clark is delighted to have this unprecedented opportunity to share some of its best-known and most beloved works with a broader global audience,” said Conforti. “It is our hope that this exhibition of the best of the Clark’s famous nineteenth-century painting collection will encourage the cross-cultural exchange of new ideas and the discovery of common ground, paving the way to greater mutual understanding and cooperation through the arts.”

The timing of the international tour coincides with the Clark’s launch of the next phase of its campus expansion program and presents an ideal opportunity to share these works with a worldwide audience.

Accompanying the exhibition is the catalogue Great French Paintings from the Clark, published by Skira Rizzoli with editions in five languages. The 240-page publication, available in hardcover, features 131 color illustrations accompanied by essays by James A. Ganz and Richard R. Brettell.

Tour Schedule

The tour schedule to date is:

  • Impressionistes: Mestres francesos de la colecció Clark, CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain, November 17, 2011–February 12, 2012
  • The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, March 11–June 17, 2012
  • From Paris, A Taste of Impressionism: Paintings from The Clark, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England, July 7–September 23, 2012
  • A History of Impressionism. Great French Paintings from the Clark, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada, October 8, 2012–January 20, 2013
  • Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo, Japan, February 9–May 26, 2013
  • Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe, Japan, June 8–September 1, 2013

The Clark Collection
Sterling and Francine Clark acquired most of the paintings which form the basis of the Clark’s collection. From the 1910s until the 1950s, the Clarks assembled an outstanding collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, and drawings, as well as British silver and European porcelain. The Clark is best known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings, including more than 30 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which take their place within a wider ensemble of masterworks that date from the Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the collection has expanded greatly since the opening of the Clark in 1955, including a growing collection of early photography, the scope and character continues to represent the taste and interests of the founders.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
The Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship, and its research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Its 140-acre campus in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts includes Stone Hill Center, designed by Tadao Ando and opened in 2008, which houses galleries, meeting and classroom facilities, and the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. The Clark, together with Williams College, America’s foremost liberal arts college, sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free November through May. Admission is free. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit


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