“The Clark: Celebrating 50 Years of Art in Nature,” Special Installation to Open May 17

For Immediate Release

May 05, 2005

On May 17, the 50th anniversary of the ribbon cutting opening the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, the Clark will open the special installation "The Clark: Celebrating 50 Years of Art in Nature." The ongoing exhibit will feature highlights of the Clark's history, recent growth, and plans for the future. The multi-media display will include never-before-seen photographs of Sterling and Francine, artifacts, letters, diaries, and videos.

The installation will begin with a look at the Clark family, with photographs and information on founder Sterling Clark's ancestors and relatives. An antique Singer sewing machine representing the source of the Clark's fortune will be on view. Military artifacts and other relics tell the story of Sterling Clark's early years as a soldier and adventurer, including his expedition to China.

Francine Clark and her influence on Sterling is the focus of another section, including publicity photographs of the young Francine Clary in costume for her roles in the Paris acting troupe, the Comédie Française. Letters between Sterling and Francine are also included.

The development of the Clark's personal collection is highlighted, as is Sterling's passion for horses. The Epsom Derby cup won by Clark's horse Never Say Die will be on view, along with video of the race. Construction photos and other archival documents will explore the formation of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and its opening in 1955.

A section on mission and growth will look at the development of the Clark over the past 50 years. Acquisitions made over the decades are highlighted. The Clark and its mission today is an important part of the exhibit, with insight into the expanding public programs and the creation of the internationally recognized Research and Academic Program.

The installation brings the viewer into the future with a look at the plans and models for the forthcoming expansion and campus enhancement designed by architect Tadao Ando.

Admission to "The Clark: Celebrating 50 Years of Art in Nature" is included in regular museum admission. Admission is free through May 31. From June 1 to October 31, admission is $10 for adults (free to members, students, and children 18 and under).

The Clark will celebrate 50 years of Art in Nature by opening to the public for 50 consecutive hours from 6 p.m. on Friday, June 3 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 5.  Activities of all sorts are planned around the clock for all ages during this anniversary celebration event. Admission to the galleries and most events is free throughout the 50 Hours. Weekend highlight include the opening of the exhibition: Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile and fireworks.  Please visit www.clarkart.edu for more details.

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

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