For Immediate Release
February 9, 2016

Williamstown, Massachusetts—Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow Kavita Singh presents the free lecture “Museums, Heritage, Culture: Into the Conflict Zone” at the Clark Art Institute on Tuesday, February 23 at 5:30 pm. The lecture is open to the public and will be held in Hunter Studio at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark’s campus.
“Museums are material manifestations of one culture’s interest in another. As such, museums are often described as places that build bridges between cultures. But museums have been the subject of intercultural misunderstandings as well,” Singh explains. Drawing upon events that have occurred in her own neighborhood in India, and in India’s neighbors in South Asia, Singh discusses episodes in which museums or museum culture have caused tensions, anxieties, distrust, and anger, thereby precipitating crises among communities, cultures, or nations.
Kavita Singh is a professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she teaches courses on the history of Indian painting and the history and politics of museums. She has published essays on issues of colonial history, repatriation, secularism and religiosity, fraught national identities, and the memorialization of difficult histories as they relate to museums in South Asia and beyond. She has also published on Indian painting. Her books include the edited and co-edited volumes New Insights into Sikh Art (Marg, 2003), Influx: Contemporary Art in Asia (Sage, 2013), No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: The Museum in South Asia (Routledge, 2014), and Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan (National Museum, 2015). Singh has curated exhibitions at the San Diego Museum of Art, the Devi Art Foundation, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the National Museum of India. At the Clark, she is completing a book on the history of the museum in post-colonial India.
In conjunction with the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College, the Clark offers a fellowship for a scholar in the humanities whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of the visual. Selected fellows have an office at the Oakley Center, are housed at the Clark’s visiting scholars’ residence, and participate fully in the rich intellectual life of both advanced research institutes.
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, consisting of 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 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]