The Lunder Center galleries are temporarily closed.


For Immediate Release

September 19, 2014

Williamstown, MA—In response to overwhelming interest in Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution, the Clark Art Institute is initiating a special admission offer for adults accompanying children to see the exhibition. The “Super Sunday” program will provide one free adult admission to the Clark when accompanied by a child. The program will be offered on Sunday afternoons from 2 pm to 5 pm, beginning on September 21 and continuing through October 26.

“We have had such an overwhelming response from local schools who are bringing their students to the Clark for field trips in record numbers that our field trip schedule is now fully booked,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “Recognizing what an exceptional teaching opportunity this is for schoolchildren to see Magna Carta alongside the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, and other important documents, we want to do all that we can to make the exhibition accessible to children throughout the region. We encourage adults to bring children to the Clark for this very special experience.”

Admission for students and children is always free. Every child has the opportunity to host an adult to accompany them on their visit to the Clark. The one child/one adult free admission offer extends to all of the Clark’s special exhibitions as well as the permanent collection.

The Clark will also host a special Freedom Family Day on the exhibition’s closing day, November 2, from 1–4:30 pm, offering a variety of special events and activities for children of all ages. Musical performances, a puppet show, and art-making projects will encourage children to consider the notions of freedom and democracy embodied in the exhibition. The Clark’s galleries will be open with free admission throughout the day

Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution presents one of the four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta, courtesy of Lincoln Cathedral, as part of the United Kingdom’s preparations for celebrating the document’s 800th anniversary in 2015. The Lincoln Cathedral Exemplar of Magna Carta is widely regarded as the finest existing copy of the document due to the fact that it is written in an ‘official’ hand and has remained at Lincoln since the time of its first issue. The exhibition includes five key documents, all on loan from Williams College, that underscore Magna Carta’s influence on American democratic thinking and the enduring power of the words contained therein. The other documents in the exhibition include a broadside original of the Declaration of Independence printed on July 4, 1776 that is one of twenty-six known surviving copies; a draft of the United States Constitution annotated by George Mason, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention; an 1863 official folio copy of the Emancipation Proclamation printed by the U.S. State Department two days after President Abraham Lincoln signed the original; an 1876 original of the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States published by the National Woman Suffrage Association; and a 1949 copy of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights—drafted by a committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. The exhibition is on view through November 2.

The Clark is also hosting a number of special events and activities related to Magna Carta, including a lecture on October 5 at 3 pm by Duncan French, head of Lincoln Law School and professor of international law at England’s University of Lincoln, who will discuss the emerging relationship between environmental rights and citizen rights. The Clark and Williams College are jointly hosting a series of presentations by faculty and students, exploring the dynamics of language and what “radical words” may mean: historically, politically, culturally, and from the perspectives of different academic disciplines. The free presentations take place in the Clark’s auditorium (located in the Manton Research Center) on October 2, October 9, and October 16 at 5 pm. A reception in the Museum Pavilion follows each presentation, and galleries will remain open until 8 pm.

A film series providing a look at themes tied both to Magna Carta and American democracy is on-going. Upcoming films include 1776 (October 4, 2 pm); and Constitution USA (October 25, 11 am–4:30 pm). Screenings will take place in the Clark’s auditorium and are free to the public.

Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution has been organized by the Clark Art Institute, in partnership with Lincoln Cathedral—Bringing Magna Carta to the USA. It is generously supported by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the officers and employees of Allen & Company, Inc., the Gilder Foundation, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Other exhibitions currently on view at the Clark include:

Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975 is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in collaboration with the Clark, and examines the different paths taken by abstract painting in the first quarter-century of the postwar period, The exhibition presents Abstract Expressionist and color field masterpieces by artists including Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Helen Frankenthaler, and Mark Rothko, alongside other canonical works organized by the formal categories of pattern, texture, and shape. The exhibition is on view through October 13.

Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith is the first presentation in more than thirty years to bring together all five of Smith’s central Circle sculptures, and explores the crucial role that industrial color and its relationship to nature played in the work of one of the twentieth century’s most influential and celebrated sculptors. The exhibition is on view through October 19.

Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes from the Shanghai Museum presents thirty-two bronze vessels and bells dating from the Erlitou period to the Han dynasty (eighteenth to the first century BCE) from the Shanghai Museum’s exceptional collection. The exhibition closes on September 21.

About the Clark
The Clark Art Institute 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, open to the public with more than 240,000 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 opened its expanded facilities on July 4, 2014, unveiling new and enhanced spaces that accommodate the continued growth of the Institute’s programs. Included in this final stage of the project are the new 42,600-square-foot Clark Center designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, expansion and renovation of the original Museum Building and the ongoing renovation of the Manton Research Center by Selldorf Architects, and a sweeping redesign of the grounds by Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture. The first phase of the campus expansion project was completed in 2008 with the opening of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a striking conservation and exhibitions facility also designed by Tadao Ando.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries open daily from through October 13, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm. From October 14, 2014 through June 30, 2015: Galleries open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 through October 31, 2014 and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.

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