Clark Art Institute to dedicate new gallery in soon-to-open Manton Research Center in honor of Eugene V. Thaw

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2016
Williamstown, Massachusetts––The Clark Art Institute has received a $2 million gift from the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust in recognition of its remarkable and growing works on paper collection. To honor the generosity of its donors, the Clark will name a new gallery in its Manton Research Center when the building reopens on November 12 after an extensive renovation.
The Eugene V. Thaw Gallery for Works on Paper is named in honor of the noted art dealer, collector, scholar, and author. The gallery, located on the ground floor of the Manton Research Center, is the Clark’s first gallery dedicated exclusively to the display of works on paper.
“This very generous gift expands our ability to present exhibitions of works on paper—gleaned from both the Clark’s amazing collection and from other institutions and private collectors—that are of the highest quality. It also allows us to imagine extraordinary programming opportunities for the future,” said Olivier Meslay, the Clark’s Felda and Dena Hardymon Director. “We are grateful to the Thaw Charitable Trust for their support and look forward to celebrating this gift as we open the Manton Research Center.”
The 1,350-square-foot gallery provides the Clark with a new space in which to mount year-round exhibitions of prints, drawings, photographs, and other works on paper. The space features special lighting and environmental controls to provide optimum conditions for the display of these delicate works. Located directly off the building’s reading room––the central public space––the gallery is adjacent to the new Manton Study Center for Works on Paper, which will provide scholars and visitors the opportunity to view and study the more than six thousand works in the Clark’s collection.
Eugene V. Thaw is a passionate collector of Old Master drawings and is recognized for creating one of the most significant collections of its kind. Like Sterling Clark and Sir Edwin Manton, for whom the research center is named, Thaw relies on his own expertise, research, and trained eye when making acquisitions of art.
Thaw says he has long respected the Clark as both a museum and as a center for research and academic engagement, and it was the opening of the new study center and gallery dedicated to works on paper in a prominent location in the Manton Research Center that prompted his generous gift. Given his collecting interests, the decision to name the Clark’s first gallery exclusively dedicated to the display of works on paper is particularly appropriate.
“The Clark has a small but very fine collection of works on paper, particularly its extraordinary holdings of prints and drawings by Albrecht Dürer,” said Thaw. “My personal collection of works on paper is going to The Morgan Library in New York, and I wanted to do something different for the Clark to support the renovation and expansion of the Manton Research Center.”
Thaw’s various philanthropic activities are well documented and include significant gifts to The Morgan Library and Museum in New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York; and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
The Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust is a private foundation which supports visual and performing arts, preservation of the environment, and the welfare of animals and wildlife. Initially formed thirty-five years ago in the state of New York, the Thaw Charitable Trust relocated in 1994 to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the heart of the Southwest that the Thaws called home for more than twenty-five years.
The first exhibition presented in the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery is Photography and Discovery, a comprehensive survey of the Clark’s collection of historic photographs. The exhibition includes works by Francis Frith (English, 1822–1898), Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852–1934), Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820–1884), and William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877), among others. The exhibition, supported by a grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, also includes works on loan from the Troob Family Foundation and selections from the Clark’s David A. Hanson Collection of the History of Photomechanical Reproduction.


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 270,000 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.
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