Biographies of Key Staff at the Clark

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2005

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA (March 2005) - The director, curators, educators, and research program staff of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute are available for media interviews on a variety of topics. Please contact the public relations office to schedule an interview.

Michael Conforti, Director
Michael Conforti has been director of the Clark since 1994.  Under Conforti's leadership the Clark has expanded its collections as well as its special exhibition and research and academic programs.  He has also overseen the planning for the Institute's building expansion and campus enhancement designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando.  Conforti is a trustee of the American Academy in Rome, the Association of Art Museum Directors, The National Committee for the History of Art and CIHA (the Comité International d'Histoire de l'Art).  He teaches at Williams College and is a regular lecturer and author of articles on sculpture and the decorative arts, museum history and practice, as well as institutional and private collecting in their social and cultural context.


Richard Rand, Senior Curator
Richard Rand is Senior Curator and Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Clark. Rand has lectured and published widely in his field of research, 17th-19th-century French art. He has organized and co-organized numerous exhibitions, including Intimate Encounters: Love and Domesticity in Eighteenth-Century France; Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light; Turner: The Late Seascapes; and Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile . He is currently working on an exhibition of drawings, prints, and paintings by Claude Lorrain for 2006-7. In addition to his position at the Clark, Rand is a lecturer in art history at Williams College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his B.A. from Bowdoin College.

Kathleen Morris, Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Curator of Decorative Arts
Kathleen Morris is the Clark's Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Curator of Decorative Arts.  Prior to joining the Clark staff, she was Associate Director for Exhibitions and Collections Management, and Curator of European Sculpture, Decorative Arts, and Prints at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2005. Her dissertation dealt with contemporary sources on the life and art of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. In 2004, she was project co-curator with VMFA Director Michael Brand on Van Gogh and Gauguin: An Artistic Dialogue in the South of France at the VMFA. Morris contributed several catalogue entries to Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier.

James A. Ganz, Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs
James A. Ganz is Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Clark.  He has an M.A. from Williams College (1988) and Ph.D. from Yale University (2000), where his dissertation was on the 17th-century mezzotint engraver Robert Robinson.  Ganz joined the Clark's staff in 1996.  Since 1997 he has also been a part-time lecturer in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.  He worked in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1988-92.  He is a board member of the Print Council of America.  Ganz has organized a series of wide-ranging exhibitions at the Clark, most recently Édouard Baldus: Landscape and Leisure in Early French Photography, Goltzius and the Third Dimension, and Arctic Diary: Paintings and Photographs by William Bradford (co-organizer).  He has contributed to the exhibition catalogues for Bonjour Monsieur Courbet! The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier (2004), and Jean-François Millet: Drawn into the Light (1999).  His articles have appeared in Master Drawings, Print Quarterly, The Burlington Magazine, and the Journal of the Clark Art Institute.

Richard Kendall, Consultative Curator of 19th Century Art
In addition to being an independent scholar and exhibition curator, Richard Kendall is Consultative Curator of 19th-Century Art at the Clark. He received his master's degree in art history from Courtauld Institutue of Art in London in 1971.  In 1996, Kendall received the Hawthornden Prize for Art Criticism, awarded for the catalogue of Degas: Beyond Impressionism. He most recently curated the exhibition Degas and the Dance for the Detroit Institute of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Kendall has written several books and scholarly catalogues, articles in scholarly journals, catalogues for private galleries, and exhibition and book reviews, along with delivered lectures and papers at institutions in Europe and the United States.  Many have heard and seen his work as a consultant, writer and narrator on television and radio programs including a one-hour film in the Great Performances Series, Degas and the Dance  on New York channel 13.

Marc Simpson, Curator of American Art
The Clark's Curator of American Art is Marc Simpson.  In a related role, he is Associate Director and Lecturer in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.  Simpson received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1993. His particular area of interest is American art from 1860 to 1930.  Recently published essays focus on the work of James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer. Simpson organized the exhibition Uncanny Spectacle: The Public Career of the Young John Singer Sargent at the Clark in 1997.  He has lectured in museums across the country.

Sarah Lees, Assistant Curator of Paintings
Sarah Lees has been the Clark's Assistant Curator of Paintings since 2002.  From 2000 to 2002, she was a Research Associate at the Clark and during this time she coordinated and contributed to the first systematic scholarly catalogue of the Clark's collection of nineteenth-century paintings, a project that is still in progress.  Lees received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in May of 1999.  She co-curated the exhibition A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires, in 2005.  Other curatorial work includes Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, as exhibition coordinator and catalogue editor. Lees's other publications include "An Odyssey of Painting: How Alfred Bruyas Came to America" in the CAI Journal , and an upcoming essay on the national tour of Collecting the Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Clark Art Institute.

Research and Academic Program

Michael Ann Holly, Director of the Research and Academic Program
Michael Ann Holly is Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark and teaches in the graduate program of Williams College.  During the past year she has also been a Visiting Professor at M.I.T. and Northwestern University.  She received her doctorate from Cornell University in 1981.  A co-founder of the Visual and Cultural Studies Graduate Program at the University of Rochester, she was chair of the Art History Department there for 13 years.  Before that she taught in the history and art history departments at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The author or co-editor of several books on the subjects of the historiography and theory of art history -- such as Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History (1984), Visual Culture:  Images and Interpretations (1994), Past Looking:  Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of Images (1996),  The Subjects of Art History:  Historical Objects in Contemporary Perspective (1998), and Art History, Aesthetics, Visual Studies (2002) -- she has received several fellowships, including a Guggenheim, a Getty Fellowship, an ACLS, a Rockefeller grant, and two from the NEH.  Holly has written many essays on the criticism and history of medieval and Renaissance art and has been co-director of two NEH and two Getty summer seminars on cross-disciplinary subjects for humanities faculty.  Her lectures have taken her all over the world.  Holly's teaching interests include the intellectual history of the history of art, critical theory, medieval art and architecture, and Italian and Northern Renaissance art.

Mark Ledbury, Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program
Mark Ledbury is Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program. Before he took up the post, he taught at the Universities of Portsmouth and Manchester in the UK. Educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Sussex, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1996, he is the author of Sedaine, Greuze and the Boundaries of Genre and writer and editor of numerous books and articles on 18th-century French art, and in particular on its relationship with theater. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy, and is currently the assistant secretary of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and serves on the editorial board of the Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century.

Clark Fellows
Visiting scholars with expertise in a wide variety of disciplines are in residence as Clark Fellows year-round. For a list of current Fellows, see the research section of


Michael Cassin, Curator of Education
Michael Cassin, the Clark's Curator of Education, studied painting and Art History at the University of Leeds, in Great Britain and subsequently worked in the Education Departments of Southampton City Art Gallery and the National Gallery in London.  For nine years he was Head of the Education Department at the National Galleries of Scotland before coming to the Clark in the summer of 2000.  An active member of the International Council of Museums Education Group (he was recently elected to the board of ICOM's Committee for Educational and Cultural Action), he has lectured and written widely on museum education.  His publications include More Than Meets the Eye, and Art and..., both books relating the visual arts to other curriculum subjects, and he is currently working on a book about images of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus, which examines how a legendary 4th century archbishop from Asia Minor found his way down chimneys in North America and elsewhere on the night before Christmas. At the Clark, Cassin directs public education for children and adults, including the school and docent program, which serves more than 6,000 schoolchildren annually. Among his accomplishments at the Clark is an innovative educational website ( which has been noted in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Danielle Steinmann, Assistant Curator of Education
As assistant curator of education at the Clark, Danielle Steinmann works with her department on the operation and development of the Institute's growing education program, including gallery talks, teacher professional development, and other public programs for children, families, and adults. Prior to joining the Clark staff, Steinmann was a Program Coordinator in the education department at the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has also worked as a consultant to the Harvard University Art Museums' education department. Steinmann graduated cum laude from Wellesley College and received her MA in the History of Art from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Among the new projects Steinmann developed was an "artist café" series.

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