November 2, 2018
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Edgar Degas once said, “Art is not a matter of what you see, but what you make other people see.” The Clark Art Institute airs the Exhibition on Screen film Degas: Passion for Perfection on Saturday, November 17 at 3 pm in the auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center. Tickets are $12.50 ($10 for Clark members) and may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 413 458 0524.
The film journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’s works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to rare and diverse works, the film tells a fascinating story of Degas’s pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learned from studying old masters.

Sometimes frustrated by his own failings, Degas was consumed by both an obsession of the creative process and failing eyesight, but his determination to capture everyday life was evident. Never fully satisfied, Degas kept many of his drawings and sculptures private during his lifetime—but now, through close examination, they can be seen as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, as well as the narration of letters written by Degas himself, Passion for Perfection reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late nineteenth century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’s artistic mind. 

Run time is 85 minutes.
Exhibition on Screen works with top international museums and galleries to create films that offer a cinematic immersion into the world’s best-loved art, accompanied by insights from leading historians and art critics.
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, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; open daily in July and August. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; EBT Card to Culture; Bank of America Museums on Us; and Blue Star Museums. For more information on these programs and more, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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