For Immediate Release
October 5, 2017
Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Clark Art Institute’s “Looking and Lunching” program continues on Thursday, October 19 at 12 pm. The program welcomes fellow art lovers for a half-hour talk focused on one object in the galleries, followed by continued discussion over lunch with the presenter. This month, Senior Curator Esther Bell discusses Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun’s (1755–1842) painting Bacchante. Bell explores Vigée-Lebrun’s path to becoming the foremost female artist working in an age of the Revolution.

The talk is free with admission. Plan to arrive early to pre-order and purchase a meal from Café 7, or bring your own lunch. Meet at the Admissions Desk.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun was highly sought after as a portraitist by European aristocrats in the late 1700s and early 1800s. She was encouraged early in her career by the painter Joseph Vernet, and by the age of 21, she had received her first royal commission. The portraits Vigée-Lebrun painted before the French Revolution, especially those of women, suggest the refined informality of French aristocratic life. A favorite of Marie Antoinette, she left France shortly after the outbreak of the Revolution and moved, for twelve years, from one European city to another—Turin, Prague, St. Petersburg, Berlin, London—before finally returning to France in 1805.
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 clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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