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The Clark’s Collection of French Masterworks Opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in London

For Immediate Release

July 11, 2012

From Paris, A Taste for Impressionism: Paintings from the Clark
July 7, 2012–September 23, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA–The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s international tour of masterpieces from its collection of nineteenth-century European paintings opened at the Royal Academy of the Arts in London on July 7, 2012. From Paris, A Taste for Impressionism: Paintings from the Clark continues the Clark’s commitment to global outreach and cultural exchange.

Open to the public from July 7 through September 23, 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 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 the Royal Academy from its only U.S. venue, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where it garnered critical praise. Since the tour began in October 2010, the Clark’s collection has been seen by more than a million visitors worldwide.

“We are so pleased to bring the Clark’s collection of French paintings to London,” said Michael Conforti, director. “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. 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,” said Conforti.

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 (to date):

  • 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

An additional venue in Shanghai, China will be announced later this year.

The Clark Collection

Sterling and Francine Clark acquired most of the paintings that 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 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.

Press contacts:
Sally Morse Majewski
The Clark
413 458 0588

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