Clark Curator Attempts to Break the Code During "The Da Vinci Code: Facts or Fictions" at the Clark May 26

For Immediate Release

May 04, 2006

Dan Brown’s best-selling book The Da Vinci Code has prompted a remarkable level of curiosity including a number of spin-offs and a whole range of other books which examine the complex ideas explored in the novel. Timed to coincide with the release of Ron Howard’s film version of the book, the lecture “The Da Vinci Code: Facts or Fictions” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Friday, May 26 will examine the art-related facts and fictions that have captivated audiences. During the free 8 pm lecture in the auditorium, Clark curator of education Michael Cassin will attempt to unravel these mysteries of the art world.

Cassin’s lecture will attempt to de-code some of the theories suggested in the film and book concerning Da Vinci’s masterpieces in which hidden clues, clearly visible to anyone, but ingeniously disguised by the painter, hold the answers to unlocking the mystery. One such controversial theory proposes that one of the figures depicted in The Last Supper is Mary Magdalene and that details in the painting hold clues supporting this theory. Cassin will also discuss intriguing locations mentioned in the book such as St. Sulpice in Paris and Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland.

First published in 2003, The Da Vinci Code has spent over 150 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List. On May 19, the film version will premiere at theaters across the United States starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, and Ian McKellen. The story follows Harvard symbol expert Robert Landgon as he investigates the murder of the head curator at the Lourve. The mystery leads Langdon and noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu on a breathless flight across Europe involving historic landmarks and some of the world’s most intriguing works of art such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks, and The Last Supper all in an attempt to solve the murder and uncover the truth behind some of the most powerful organizations in the world.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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