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Museum Directors Debate the Merits of the Greatest Museum in the World on June 25 to Close Popular Series at the Clark

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2006

On Sunday, June 25 at 2 pm, the popular “Great Debates” series at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute concludes appropriately with local museum directors debating “The Greatest Museum in the World.” The Clark’s Michael Conforti, Williams College Museum of Art’s Lisa Corrin, and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s Joseph Thompson will try to convince the audience with seven-minute presentations followed by challenging questions from the audience in a true debate-style moderated forum. This series on the relative merits of artists, art works, and the museums that house them, is free.

Who will put forth the best argument for the greatest museum in the world? And what qualifies a museum for the title? Is the deciding factor the collection it houses, the architecture, programming, or connection to the community in which it thrives? In the end, the audience will get to vote for the most convincing argument.

“This series of debates has been fun and informative,” said Conforti. “The level of audience participation has been quite remarkable in terms of both the number and thoughtfulness of their questions. I am looking forward to debating my colleagues on this very interesting topic – the greatest museum in the world.”

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 through September 4, this exhibition features over 70 paintings from artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse, Homer, Picasso, Monet, and Hopper. It explores 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 June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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