Clark to Celebrate 45th Anniversary with August 4 Dance

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2000

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA (July 17, 2000) - The public is invited to a "Serenade in Blue," the forty-fifth anniversary celebration of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Friday, August 4, from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. According to tradition, the "sapphire" anniversary event will take place in front of the Clark's 1955 white marble building, with distinctive desserts, a champagne toast, and dancing to the music of Steve Murray's Berkshire Big Band. Tickets are $45. Reservations are required by July 29. To reserve, call 413-458, 2303, extension 327.

The event is organized by a volunteer committee: Barbara Lesser and Betsy Taylor (co-chairs), Licia Conforti, Linda Conway, Pauline Dion, Susan Gold, Joan Hunter, Alix Labatut, Sonia Massery, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, Rita Watson, and Suki Wilkins. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute opened its doors in 1955, welcoming the public to a collection of art and books that Robert Sterling Clark and his wife Francine had assembled over the course of five decades. The collection continues to grow through purchase and gift. It is best known for an extraordinary group of French Impressionist paintings, which take their place within a wider ensemble of masterworks that range from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century. Among the highlights are works by Ugolino di Nerio, Piero della Francesca, Fragonard, Corot, Bouguereau, Turner, and an especially strong representation of American artists, including Homer, Cassatt, and Sargent. The Clark is also noted for its fine holdings of decorative arts and Old Master and nineteenth-century drawings and prints. Its library has grown to become one of the nation's premier resources for the study of European and American art, containing more than 200,000 printed books, bound periodicals, and auction sales catalogues.

The Clark is one of a handful of institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a separate series of research and academic programs. As such, the Institute functions as an international center for research and discussion on art as well as its history, criticism, and the institutions that shape and support the field. The Clark Fellows Program brings leading scholars from universities and museums around the world to Williamstown for up to a year to research and develop ideas focused on art and related critical and historical issues. Its conference and symposium program presents one major Clark Conference a year on an issue of importance to the field, as well as symposia, colloquia, seminars, and lectures on a variety of topics. In addition, the Clark houses a master's program in the history of art, the country's foremost program of its kind, which is administered jointly with nearby Williams College.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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