Public conversation at the Clark explores the Future of the Venice Biennale as a Global Phenomenon

August 30, 2019
Williamstown, Massachusetts—In conjunction with the Clark Art Institute’s exhibition Art’s Biggest Stage: Collecting the Venice Biennale, 2007–2019, curator Brian Sholis and MIT art historian Caroline A. Jones join in a public conversation about the history and future of the biennial as a global phenomenon on Thursday, September 12, at 5:30 pm at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill. Robert Wiesenberger, the Clark’s associate curator of contemporary projects, introduces and moderates the conversation.
Sholis is the curator of Art’s Biggest Stage and is an independent curator and editor. Jones is a scholar of modern and contemporary art whose most recent book is The Global Work of Art: World’s Fairs, Biennials, and the Aesthetics of Experience (University of Chicago Press, 2017).
Since 2007, the Clark Art Institute’s library has built an unparalleled collection of editioned artworks, books, posters, publicity materials, and other, more unusual objects produced in conjunction with the Venice Biennale. Art’s Biggest Stage: Collecting the Venice Biennale, 2007–2019 presents a unique look at the Biennale by showcasing the materials in the Clark’s growing collection and exploring the questions of identity, nationhood, and spectacle central to the event. The exhibition offers insights into a period when contemporary art has received increasing attention in mainstream culture, when the art world’s geographic reach has expanded beyond its traditional centers, and when technology has reshaped how such events are encountered, both in person and online. Art’s Biggest Stage: Collecting the Venice Biennale, 2007–2019 is on view at the Clark through October 14.
The Sholis/Jones conversation takes place on the terrace at the Lunder Center, and, in the spirit of Venice, Aperol spritzes are available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, the talk will be moved to the Hunter Studio in the Lunder Center. Complimentary access to the exhibition galleries is provided from 5–7 pm.
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. Its 140-acre campus includes miles of hiking and walking trails through woodlands and meadows, providing an exceptional experience of art in nature. 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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