Join Your Neighbors at "The Show of the Year" Free

For Immediate Release

June 06, 2001

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, (May 25, 2001) - Residents of Berkshire County, as well as neighboring Bennington County Vermont and New York's Columbia and Rennselaer Counties, are invited to preview the Clark Art Institute's summer exhibition Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890 before it opens officially on June 17. From Monday, June 11, to Saturday, June 16 residents of different towns throughout the region may see Impression free of charge and without advance reservations. During the week of free previews, the Clark will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and offer free activities including gallery talks, activity guides for families, and community receptions.

The Clark will be the only North American venue for Impression, which opened at the National Gallery of London and traveled to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The exhibition, which was organized by the Clark, met with both popular and critical success. London's Daily Telegraph called it "the show of the year," and Philip Hensher of London's Daily Mail wrote, "This is the most sublime looks to me very much like the best Impressionist exhibition I have ever seen."

"Impression is a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of some of the most beautiful, important, and popular paintings ever created, and we wanted to be sure that everyone in our community has the chance to see it free of charge," said director Michael Conforti. "The Clark is committed to expanding out local audience and I hope that all our neighbors will take advantage of this opportunity, especially if they have never been to the Clark before. Everyone will have a great time during these community previews."

Every day during Community Week the Clark will offer gallery talks of Impression at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. In addition, the audio guides to the permanent collection will be available free of charge. Children and their parents are encouraged to take the Clark's brand-new activity guide which have fun and educational suggestions for families to make the most out of their visit to the galleries together. At 6:15 p.m. each evening Clark director Michael Conforti will host a welcoming reception for each community. Throughout the day, an introductory video to Impression will play continuously. The grounds of the Clark, which feature nature trails, gardens, and picnic facilities, are also open to the public. Light snacks, pastries, and beverages will be available for purchase at the Courtyard Café.

The free preview is sponsored in part by New England Newspapers, Inc., owners of The Berkshire Eagle, North Adams Transcript, and Bennington Banner, and by Berkshire Broadcasting stations AM 1230 WNAW, FM 100.1 WMNB, and AM 860 WSBS

The schedule for the previews is as follows:

  • Monday, June 11: Pittsfield and central Berkshire County, including the towns of Lanesboro, Dalton, Berkshire, and Hinsdale. 
  • Tuesday, June 12: Northern Berkshire County including North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Savoy, Florida, and Clarksburg 
  • Wednesday, June 13: Southern Berkshire County including Lenox, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Lee, Becket, Monterey, South Egremont, and Sheffield. 
  • Thursday, June 14: Bennington County, Vermont. 
  • Friday, June 15: Columbia and Rensselear Counties, New York. 
  • Saturday, June 16: greater Williamstown and New Ashford.

Impression: Painting Quickly in France 1860-1890 gathers some eighty paintings by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh. The show challenges many basic assumptions about Impressionist art, and examines works that might truly be called "Impressions"-paintings that appear to be rapid transcriptions of shifting subjects but were nonetheless considered finished by their makers. The Clark will host Impression from June 17 through September 9.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

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