For Immediate Release
August 20, 2015

Williamstown, Massachusetts—In a public lecture on Friday, September 4 at 3:30 pm at the Clark Art Institute, Kevin Murphy, Eugénie Prendergast Curator of American Art at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), investigates artist James McNeill Whistler’s bravura brushwork and delicate use of line, with which he created some of the most beautiful—and most controversial—artwork of the nineteenth century. The lecture, free with paid admission, will be held at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark’s campus. The galleries at the Lunder Center are the site of the exhibition Whistler’s Mother: Grey, Black, and White, on view through September 27.
Whistler was known for his radical artistic processes, among them the thin ground used for Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother), familiarly known as Whistler’s Mother. The painting, on a rare loan from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, is the centerpiece of the Clark’s exhibition, which also includes a selection of Whistler’s prints and drawings, Japanese woodblock prints that inspired the artist, and ephemera that explore the image’s role in popular culture.
Kevin Murphy holds a BA from Pitzer College of The Claremont Colleges in California and an MA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned a PhD in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining WCMA, he was a curator and program manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Previously, he served as associate curator of American art at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Murphy has taught art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of California, Los Angeles; and San Diego Mesa College. He is the recipient of several fellowships and grants, including the Terra Foundation for American Art award and the Henry Luce Foundation Dissertation Research Grant.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm; open September through June, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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