Home: The Clark's 50th Anniversary 50th Anniversary  

50 Hours

50 Favorites


National Tour

Clark Prize

Special Installation

50 Favorites
John Singer Sargent
American, 1856–1925
Fumée d'ambre gris (Smoke of Ambergris)
Oil on canvas
Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1914
  This masterpiece received more votes than any other work in the Clark collection, making it the overwhelming favorite. People from Williamstown to Texas find it "mesmerizing," "haunting," provocative," and "mysterious." Shannon Ferryall of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, wrote, "I can't put it into words. The painting just speaks to me."

Others said:

"This haunting, mysterious, deeply evocative, white-on-white tour de force represents everything I cherish about the entire collection. No reproduction can ever come close to the palpable reality of standing before it."

Joseph Wolf III
Massapequa Park, New York
Member since 2001

"It's fascinating, it's mysterious, it's luminous. I felt lost when it was on loan."

Lisa M. Avery
X-ray Technologist/Performing Artist
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Member since 1998

"Sargent captured the essence of mystery in this painting, and that continues to enthrall me year after year, visit after visit. Why? I don't really know. And to be honest, I hope I never do. The speculation is what captivates me."

Shaun P. O'Connell
Contract Manager
Middleboro, Massachusetts
Member since 1999

"This was the first painting I saw on my first visit to the Clark nearly ten years ago. I was dazzled. The painting glowed."

Elizabeth Pond Reza
Great Barrington, Massachusetts

"Since my first visit to the museum I remember being immediately drawn to it in an almost spiritual way. When it traveled to Boston for an exhibition I followed."

Mary D. Rogers
Sunderland, Massachusetts
Member since 1998


The Clark
© 2015 Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

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