Holiday Season Activities at the Clark

For Immediate Release

November 16, 2004

Throughout the holiday season, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute plans a variety of programs for people of all ages and interests. Highlights include a family day focused on textiles and knitting on Saturday, December 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a holiday concert by the Celtic group the Barra MacNeils on Saturday, December 11, at 8 p.m., and a three-day "open house" with children's activities during December school vacation week.

The Clark will be closed on Thanksgiving, November 25. The Clark galleries and museum shop will be open for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend, and admission is free. On Sunday, November 28, at 2 p.m., the Clark will show the 1995 Norwegian film, Kristin Lavransdatter, part of the "Medieval Mysteries" film series.

"Textile Day" on December 4 is inspired by the current exhibition, Medieval Mystery: Who is the Master of the Embroidered Foliage? Activities for children, teens, and adults will include embroidery, quilting, and knitting workshops, "wacky weaving" and fabric art activities, spinning and weaving demonstrations, live harp music in the galleries, talks on knitting in art and textiles in art, and more. Admission is free.

On Saturday, December 11, at 8 p.m., the Barra MacNeils, "Canada's first family of Celtic Music," will perform as part of Williamstown's Holiday Walk Weekend. The group's special "A Cape Bretton Christmas" has been broadcast on public television in Canada and the United States. Tickets to the concert are $25 ($22 for members). Holiday concerts at the Clark typically sell out, so advance reservations are encouraged. Tickets are now on sale at the Clark museum shop or by telephone at 413-458-0524.

On Saturday, December 11, and Sunday, December 12, Clark members get an extra discount on museum shop purchases. A special "Medieval Apothecary" program about herbs and natural remedies will also be offered to members on December 11. New members are always welcome. To become a member, call 413-458-0425.

On Tuesday, December 28, Wednesday, December 29, and Thursday, December 30, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Clark will offer a family "open house" with art-making activities for children and snowshoe treks on the Clark's 140-acre campus. Admission is free.

Other public programs offered at the Clark in December are: the Renaissance mini-course "Everything you Always Wanted to Know about the Renaissance..." on Wednesday, December 1, at 1 p.m. ($6/$4 for members); the film series "Fellows Favorites on Thursdays, December 2 and 9, at 7:30 p.m.; a gallery talk for new mothers on Friday, December 3, at 10 a.m.; the film series "Medieval Mysteries on Sundays, December 5 and 12, at 2 p.m.; and a "Looking at Lunchtime" gallery talk about a 15th-century altarpiece on Thursday, December 9, at 12:30 p.m.

Medieval Mystery is on view through January 2, 2005. The exhibition features four paintings attributed to the 15th-century Netherlandish painter known only as The Master of the Embroidered Foliage. The virtually identical compositions depict the Virgin Mary in voluminous robes, seated on a throne while the Christ child in her arms leafs through an illustrated manuscript. Medieval Mystery brings together for the first time four of these works from public and private collections in the United States, Belgium, and France, including the painting from the Clark's collection.

Also on view is Albrecht Dürer's Life of the Virgin, an exhibition of 20 woodcuts from the great printmaker's 1511 series, The Life of the Virgin.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries will be closed November 25, December 25, and January 1. Gallery admission is free through May. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

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