“The Art of Keeping Art Together” Free Public Lecture Held September 15 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

September 07, 2006

“The Art of Keeping Art Together,” a free public lecture presented by Dario Gamboni, professor of art history at the University of Geneva, will be held on Friday, September 15 at 6:30 pm at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The lecture, on the special influence and fascination connected to “collector’s museums” such as the Wallace Collection, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Frick Collection, and the Clark, will be held in the Clark’s auditorium with a reception following in the courtyard.

Gamboni's lecture "The Art of Keeping Art Together" will focus on how and why we should explore the special power and interest of the “collector's museum.” Does "keeping art together" (maintaining an art collection as an entire and visible entity) give the art itself an extra quality? How do collector's museums create a “special” sensory or historical experience? How can one measure or analyze the success of the collector's museum?" Questions from the audience are encouraged at the end of Gamboni‘s lecture.

Gamboni, currently professor of art history at the University of Geneva, obtained his doctorate in art history from the University of Lausanne. Besides curating numerous exhibitions and lecturing at many institutions, he taught at the University of Lyon II, and was a member of the Institut Universtaire de France. During 1996 Gamboni was Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. From 1998 until 2000 he was Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at the Department of Art History and Art of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He has published numerous books, mainly on 19th- and 20th-century art, with an emphasis on the social history of art, reception studies, art and literature, art criticism, symbolism, religious art and iconoclasm.

"The Art of Keeping Art Together" lecture will open the Clark Symposium “Private Realm and Public Space: The Collector’s Museum in the Twenty-First Century.” The symposium, held on Saturday, September 16, is the concluding event celebrating the Clark’s 50th anniversary. “Private Realm and Public Space: The Collector’s Museum in the Twenty-First Century” explores the history, specificities, meanings, problems, and potential of collectors’ museums and probe the nature of the powerful attraction that collections like the Wallace, the Gardner, the Frick, and the Clark still exert over the gallery-going public. It will focus on examining the collector as both creator and created, and on the museum as work of art and as fantasy, as well as vital public space. Tickets for the symposium ($25, $15 for students and Clark members) are available by calling 413-458-0524. More information is available at www.clarkart.edu.

Speakers during the symposium include Pascal Griener, professor of art history at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; Theodora Vischer, director of Schaulager Basel, Switzerland; Francesco Pellizi, editor of RES at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Anne Higonnet, professor of art history at Columbia University; Jo Hedley, curator of paintings before 1800 at The Wallace Collection, London; Alan Chong, curator of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. The institute is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of directors of art museums, curators, and scholars.

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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