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The Clark Plans Special Events this Summer to Highlight the Exhibition

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2005

An array of public programs and special events will celebrate the first exhibition to explore the transformation of Jacques-Louis David's art following the French Revolution at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on view this summer, June 5 through September 5. Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile is the first major exhibition in the U.S. to focus exclusively on David's work. David, the most celebrated painter of his era and First Painter to Napoleon, influenced Western art for generations. Empire to Exile has been co-organized by The Clark and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Empire to Exile will preview locally at the 50th Gala: "From the Empire to the Edge," on Friday, June 3, celebrating both the 50th anniversary of the Clark and the exhibition opening. The elegant gala (black tie optional) will take place outdoors under a tent, from 7 to 10 p.m. Guests will enjoy big band music, cocktails, and a buffet dinner. The ticket price of $200 also includes the "after party," on the South Lawn, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., with light refreshments and a DJ playing today's dance hits. Night owls may attend just the after party for $35 per person. At 10 p.m., gala and party attendees can preview the David exhibition.  For tickets, call 413-458-0524.  As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the Clark will remain open for 50 straight hours, June 3 through 5.

Other related programs include:

* Empire to Exile will open to the public at midnight, Friday, June 3, as part of the 50 Hours celebration event.  Admission to the exhibition, as well as the permanent collection, will be free all weekend.  Special Empire to Exile-themed events including a life-sized chess match and French wine and cheese tasting are scheduled along with events celebrating the Clark's 50th "birthday."

* The free public lecture titled "Jacques-Louis David, Court Artist to Napoleon" will be held on Sunday, June 5, at 2 p.m. given by Philippe Bordes.  Bordes, the guest curator and catalogue author of "Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile," will give an introductory lecture to the exhibition. A book-signing of the exhibition catalogue ($75 hardcover, $49.50 softcover) will follow.

* On Saturday, June 18, at 2 p.m. Michael Cassin, curator of education will give the free lecture, "Painting the Revolution: David Before Napoleon."  This lecture will focus on David's career in the period before that covered by the exhibition--his famous work before and during the French Revolution.

* On Thursday, June 23 at 6 p.m., Thomas Crow, director of the Getty Research Institute will offer a prelude lecture to the David Symposium.  Crow's lecture, "The Imagination of Exile in Jacques-Louis David's 'Anger of Achilles'," will be followed by a public reception.  The lecture and reception are free.

* The David Symposium, sponsored by the Clark's Research and Academic Program, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and June 25. The public is invited to this two-day international symposium organized in conjunction with the exhibition. Speakers will include Philippe Bordes, the preeminent French scholar of Jacques-Louis David and guest curator of the exhibition, and other prominent scholars. Tickets are $25 per day/$40 for the weekend ($15/$20 for members and students). For tickets, call 413-458-0536.

* Robert Rosenblum will present a free lecture on "David's Portraits: An International View" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 9.  Noted arts writer Rosenblum, currently professor of fine arts at New York University and part-time curator at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, will place David's portraits of the French court and Napoleon's circle in context.

* A free lecture on "Napoleon, Image and Trademark" by Mark Ledbury, associate director of the research and academic programs will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 6.  David's famous Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, known as much for being reproduced on a brandy bottle as for hanging on a museum wall, is one of many images of Napoleon that have been co-opted by pop culture. Ledbury will discuss Napoleon as icon, from classic to kitsch.

* In addition to David programming, the Clark will offer free summer band concerts every Tuesday in July, and the family day "Through the Decades at the Clark" on July 24.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.
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