Who is the Greatest Artist Ever? Help Decide During the First Event in the Great Debates Series at the Clark on May 28

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2006

Who is the greatest artist ever? What is the greatest work of art ever? Which is the greatest museum in the world? These are all debatable issues and they are exactly what local museum personalities will tackle during the “Great Debates Series” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on three selected Sundays. These free debates on the relative merits of artists, art works, and the museums that house them, will be held at 2 pm in the Clark’s auditorium on May 28, June 11, and June 25.

The first in the series, “The Greatest Artist Ever” on May 28, will feature the Clark’s curator of education Michael Cassin, director of exhibitions and collections and curator of decorative arts Kathleen Morris, and senior curator and curator of paintings and sculpture Richard Rand battling over whom they think was (or is) "The Greatest Artist Ever." They will try to convince the audience with 10-minute presentations followed by challenging questions from the audience in a true debate-style moderated forum. In the end, the audience will get to vote for their choice. Will it be Leonardo da Vinci? Renoir? Pollock? The guy who painted dogs playing poker? Someone else?

On Sunday, June 11 curators from the Clark and the Williams College Museum of Art, along with a Williams professor, will debate the “Greatest Work of Art in the World.” Appropriately, museum directors from the Clark, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Williams College Museum of Art will debate the “Greatest Museum in the World” on June 25, to end the series.

This summer’s special exhibition, The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, unites masterpieces from the remarkable collections of Sterling Clark and Stephen Clark. On view from June 4 to September 4, this exhibition features over 70 paintings from artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse, Homer, Picasso, Monet, and Hopper. It will explore the Clark brothers’ relationship, their rivalry, and the influential but ultimately divergent roles they came to play in the arts in the United States.

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 www.clarkart.edu.

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