March 20, 2018
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Daniel Savoy, Holly Fellow at the Clark Art Institute, presents the free lecture, “Food for the Soul: Michelangelo, the Laurentian Library, and the Body’s Spiritual Nourishment” on Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 pm. The lecture will be held in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.
In his celebrated book, The Architecture of Michelangelo (1961), the late James Ackerman (1919–2016) interpreted the Laurentian Library in Florence—which houses the most important and prestigious collection of antique books in Italy—as a cohesive, living body, engaged in physiological dialogue with the visitor. This talk extends that reading through an examination of contemporaneous medical, natural philosophical, and exegetical literature, which suggests that the building is Michelangelo’s take on the monastic library’s traditional function as a Christological body of nutrimentum spiritus (food for the soul).
Daniel Savoy is associate professor of art history and chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Manhattan College. He is the author of the book, Venice from the Water: Architecture and Myth in an Early Modern City (Yale University Press, 2012), which received the 2012 PROSE Award in Art History, and his articles have appeared in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Artibus et Historiae, and Arte Veneta, among other journals. At the Clark, he is preparing his second book, which explores the interplay among architecture, science, and bodily experience in early modern Italy.

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. 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.
Press contact:
[email protected]