SENIOR CURATOR ESTHER BELL TO PRESENT OPENING LECTURE FOR WOMEN ARTISTS IN PARIS AT CLARK ART INSTITUTE

May 21, 2018
[Digital images available upon request]
 
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Esther Bell, the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Clark Art Institute, presents the opening lecture for the special exhibition, Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 on Sunday, June 10 at 3 pm. A conversation with Chief Curator for French National Heritage Laurence Madeline, guest curator of Women Artists in Paris, follows. The lecture and conversation, free and open to the public, will be held in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Paris was a cultural mecca, luring artists from around the world to its academies, museums, salons, and galleries. Despite the city’s cosmopolitan character, gender norms remained strikingly conservative, and women painters faced obstacles not encountered by their male counterparts. Bell’s lecture considers the influential, often-overlooked work of these artists, as well as the barriers they encountered to their artistic education and expression. For example, the École des Beaux-Arts (Academy of Fine Arts)—the country’s most important art academy—did not admit female students until 1897.

Featuring nearly seventy paintings drawn from prominent collections across the United States and abroad, Women Artists in Paris includes works by renowned artists including Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Rosa Bonheur as well as their equally remarkable peers such as Anna Ancher, Lilla Cabot Perry, Louise Breslau, Eva Gonzalez, and Marie Bashkirtseff. The exhibition is on view June 9–September 3, 2018.

The opening lecture for Women Artists in Paris is supported in part by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York. Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 is organized by the American Federation of Arts. Guest curator Laurence Madeline, Chief Curator for French National Heritage, was aided by Suzanne Ramljak, AFA Curator, and Jeremiah William McCarthy, AFA Associate Curator. Presentation of the exhibition at the Clark is coordinated by Esther Bell, Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator at the Clark. The exhibition is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional funding is provided by the JFM Foundation, Elizabeth K. Belfer, the Florence Gould Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Clare McKeon, Steph and Jody La Nasa, Victoria Ershova Triplett, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Finlandia Foundation.  Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Presentation of Women Artists in Paris at the Clark is made possible by the generous contribution of Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional support from the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.

ABOUT THE CLARK
 
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. 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]