$600,000 grant will fund research on art, technology, and conflict

For Immediate Release
May 2, 2016
Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Clark Art Institute has received a grant of $600,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that provides three years of programmatic support for the Institute’s Research and Academic Program (RAP) to strengthen scholarship in art history and visual studies. The funding specifically enables RAP to pursue new initiatives while also continuing support for key programs established with earlier support from the Foundation.
The Clark is one of only a handful of institutions globally with a dual mission as both an art museum and a distinguished center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. The Clark’s Research and Academic Program has long been recognized as a world leader in international programs devoted to art history, critical theory, and visual studies. The Mellon Foundation has supported the Clark’s efforts in this area, having previously funded RAP initiatives in East-Central Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The new grant allows the Clark to explore global partnerships in Latin America and on topics related to countries in the region. In addition, the Mellon funds will support participation by international scholars in RAP’s ongoing series of programs in Williamstown.
"The prospect of executing a variety of programs that address the continuing challenges of studying visual art in national and international forums is most welcome.  Christopher Heuer, associate director, and I are as honored to have received new Mellon funding for these initiatives as we are indebted for the Foundation's past support," said Michael Ann Holly, RAP Consulting Director and Starr Director Emeritus.
Over the past decade, RAP has earned international recognition as a convener of programs that bring together leaders in the fields of visual studies and art theory. The new Mellon grant provides funding to create a series of three colloquia (one each year) addressing a fundamental aspect of the field, with an emphasis on key changes, crises, opportunities, and long-term responses. One of these programs, for example, will focus on technology's contested place in the humanities. Another will explore the state of art history in Latin America.
Additional funding for RAP fellowships is another key component of the grant. The Mellon award provides for two semester-long Mellon Decade Fellowships targeted at supporting the work of emerging scholars who have held a PhD for approximately ten years. Further, support for the Clark's Summer Collaborative Working Group (SCWG) will create an opportunity for scholars to apply for group projects.
“We deeply appreciate the Mellon Foundation’s support of our Research and Academic Program,” said Francis Oakley, the Clark’s interim director. “Their commitment to fostering international conversations about important issues in the field is critical and is so closely aligned with RAP’s mission to encourage the exchange of new ideas and enhance greater cross-cultural awareness and collaborations among art historians, curators, artists, and scholars from all fields.”
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, the foundation supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.
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. With more than 240,000 volumes, the Clark library is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries and provides an important resource for scholars, RAP Fellows, and students. 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 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 or call 413 458 2303.
Press contact:
[email protected]
413 458 0588