February 2, 2018
[Digital image available upon request]
Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Clark Art Institute’s popular “Looking and Lunching” program continues on Thursday, February 15 at 12 pm with “The Laundress in the Landscape.” Alexis Goodin, curatorial research associate, discusses Jean-Léon Gérôme’s late-1800s oil painting, Fellah Women Drawing Water. The painting is notable for the artist’s depiction of daily life in the Near East and as part of a larger body of works depicting laundresses across art history.
Gérôme traveled widely in the Near East and may have witnessed fellah (peasant) women washing laundry or carrying water from a river. However, he painted this image in his Paris studio, using a photograph taken in Egypt by a travel companion. Embellishing the original setting, the artist added the minaret of a mosque and transformed leafy trees into palms to accentuate the impression of dry, hazy heat.
The talk is free with paid gallery admission; arrive early to pre-order and purchase your meal from Café 7 or bring your own lunch. Limited seating available.

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 clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
Press contact: [email protected]