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Cornelia Brooke Gilder to Speak at the Clark on March 6

For Immediate Release

February 17, 2005

On Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m. at the Clark, Cornelia Brooke Gilder will explore the relationship of American landscape artist George Inness to his Berkshire patrons.   Gilder is a local historian and guest curator for the current exhibition A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires. The lecture is free to the public.

Inness (1825-1894) was born in Newburgh, NY, and spent his early years in Newark, NJ.   His first major supporter was Odgen Haggerty, who had a large summer home in Lenox, MA. Haggerty was one of the famous Berkshire "cottage" owners. Other well-known patrons included famed minister and orator Henry Ward Beecher, and novelist Catherine Sedgwick. Photographs, letters, and other historical papers relating to Inness's Berkshire circle are reproduced in the exhibition.

A resident of Massachusetts, Gilder is currently at work on the publication "Refined and Intellectual Households: Lenox Country Houses of the Nineteenth Century."  In 2002 she co-authored, "A History of Ventfort Hall" with Joan Olshansky. Her previous work experience includes "Edith Wharton and The Mount," an orientation slide show for Edith Wharton Restoration, Lenox, MA; historic preservation consultant to National Park Service, New York State Historic Preservation Office, Historic Albany Foundation, and Mendel, Mesick, Cohen and Waite, Architects, Albany, NY; and National Register Assistant at the New York State Historic Preservation Office. Gilder received her diploma in conservation studies from the Institute for Advanced Architectural Studies, York University, York, UK in 1976.

The exhibition, A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires is on view through April 17.  The exhibition of 15 paintings marks the first time the Berkshire subjects of the prominent 19th century artist have been examined together.

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. Gallery admission is free through May.  For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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