February 6, 2019
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Clark Art Institute Fellow Susan Sidlauskas presents the free lecture “John Singer Sargent and the Matter of Paint” on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:30 pm. The lecture, presented by the Clark’s Research and Academic Program, will be held in the auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

The cosmopolitan son of a physician, John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925) dissolved the distinctions among fabric, flesh, and paint with the pictorial equivalent of dissection and its counter-activities: masking, binding, suturing, folding, and wrapping, sometimes within the very same figure. The artist was not simply painting the Gilded Age finery. He was reconstituting skin, hair, and fabric as other, more ambiguous substances.  

Susan Sidlauskas teaches the history and theory of modern art at Rutgers University, where she also co-directs a research seminar on the Medical Humanities at the Center for Cultural Analysis. She is at work on a study of the medical portrait: Anglo-American patients’ photographs, c. 1885–1945, and the author of Body, Place and Self in Nineteenth-Century PaintingCézanne’s Other: The Portraits of Hortense, winner of the Robert Motherwell Book Prize from the Dedalus Foundation; and Striking Resemblance, with Donna Gustafson. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2014. At the Clark, Sidlauskas intends to complete her book, John Singer Sargent and the Physics of Touch.


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 275,000 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; and Blue Star Museums. For more information on these programs and more, visit or call 413 458 2303.
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