October 24, 2018
[Digital image available upon request]

Williamstown, Massachusetts—Michael Hartman, curator of the special exhibition Extreme Nature! at the Clark Art Institute, presents the opening lecture on Sunday, November 11 at 11 am. The free lecture will be held in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

Nature’s limitless possibilities inspired nineteenth-century artists who transformed hazardous weather, natural disasters, and alluring landscapes into awe-inspiring portrayals of natural phenomena. Hartman, a recent graduate of the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art and current PhD student at the University of Delaware, examines how the rise of popular science transpired into a cultural fascination with nature’s extremes—real or imagined.

Extreme Nature! is on view November 10, 2018–February 3, 2019. More than thirty-five prints, drawings, photographs, and books included in the exhibition explore how artists absorbed and responded to emerging research in the physical and life sciences to probe nature—from volatile weather patterns and celestial activity to the earth’s cavernous depths.


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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