The Lunder Center galleries are temporarily closed.


For Immediate Release
February 18, 2015

Williamstown, MA—The Research and Academic Program (RAP) at the Clark Art Institute delivers a series of free lectures beginning Tuesday, March 3 and concluding Tuesday, May 5. All lectures are open to the public and will be held in the Clark Center, West Pavilion.

“Passion in Slow Motion:” Merce Cunningham and the Pictorial Impulse
Tuesday, March 3, 5:30 pm 

Carrie Noland, Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow, discusses visionary choreographer Merce Cunningham’s repeated reinvention of what constitutes “chance” or “necessity.” Noland teaches French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Poetry at Stake (1999), Agency and Embodiment (2009), and Voices of Negritude in Modernist Print: Aesthetic Subjectivity, Diaspora, and the Lyric Regime (March, 2015). Collaborative projects include Diasporic Avant-Gardes, co-edited with poet Barrett Watten, and Migrations of Gesture, co-edited with anthropologist Sally Ann Ness. While serving as the Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow, she is writing a book entitled After the Arbitrary: Merce Cunningham, Chance Operations, and ‘The Human Situation on Stage.’

Clark Conversation: Jacqueline Lichtenstein and Iris Moon
Tuesday, March 10, 5:30 pm 

Jacqueline Lichtenstein joins Iris Moon, Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a wide-ranging conversation about her life and scholarship. Lichtenstein is professor of the philosophy of art at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. She is a scholar of early modern art theory and aesthetics, particularly concerning the debates between color and design in seventeenth-century France. She was recently (2011) Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C. and is the author of The Eloquence of Color: Rhetoric and Painting in the French Classical Age (1993) and The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Relations Between Painting and Sculpture in the Modern Age (2008).

The Challenge of Cave Art to the Future of Visual Culture
Tuesday, March 17, 5:30 pm 

Beinecke Fellow Michele Cometa, professor of Comparative Literature and Visual Culture at the University of Palermo, Italy, discusses his work on the cultural history of interpretations of cave painting produced across domains from nineteeth-century ekphrasis to modern cognitive archaeology. Cometa is professor of Comparative Literature and Visual Culture at the University of Palermo, Italy. He has published on problems in German cultural history and aesthetics, especially in the age of Goethe. He has edited or translated into Italian many classics of aesthetics and literature works. Recent publications include works on ekphrasis, literature, and visual culture; these include Descrizione e Desiderio: I Quadri Viventi di E. T. A. Hoffmann; Vedere: Lo Sguardo di E. T. A. Hoffmann (2009); La Scrittura Ielle immagini: Letteratura e Cultura Visuale (2012); and Il Trionfo della Morte di Palermo: La Salvezza nell’Immagine (2014).

The Accidental City: Representing Algiers circa 1953
Tuesday, April 7, 5:30 pm 

Sheila Crane, associate professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia, discusses her research on the history and theory of modern architecture and cities, especially in France and North Africa. Crane’s book, Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture (2011), received the 2013 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. At the Clark, she is working on her current book, Inventing Informality, which traces early attempts by architects and social scientists to document, visualize, theorize, and reorder the forms and conditions of accelerated urbanization during the long process of decolonization.

(No) Easy Prey: Animals in Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-century Italian Art
Tuesday, April 21, 5:30 pm 

Kathrin Müller, associate professor of art history at the Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, highlights her work on Western Medieval and early Renaissance art, with particular attention to
intersections between art and science. Müller’s book on astronomical diagrams in Medieval manuscripts was published in 2008. At the Clark, she is working on her current book manuscript titled On the Disappearance of Animals: A Study in the Changes in Italian Silk Ornament of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries within the Context of the Visual Arts. It reconsiders the status of ornament and the manifestations of pictorial naturalism during the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

The Back of the Painted Beyond
Tuesday, May 5, 5:30 pm
Michael Ann Holly, Starr Director emeritus of the Research and Academic Program and current Clark Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in the History of Art at Williams College, presents a lecture that considers the following: In the history of art, the dominance of representational questions is, perhaps, slowly giving way to issues of presence. Can art historians, with considerable intellectual effort, temporarily suspend the drive towards making meaning when we encounter early modern paintings and the allure of their backgrounds? Holly’s publications include Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History (1985), Past Looking: Historical Imagination and the Rhetoric of the Image (1996), and The Melancholy Art (2013).

The Clark’s Research and Academic Program is internationally recognized as one of the leading centers for research in the visual arts and has established collaborations with partner institutions including the Getty Research Institute; the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (France); Institute of Art History of the Estonian Academy of Arts; Power Institute at the University of Sydney; University of the Philippines Diliman; Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong); Asian Civilizations Museum (Singapore); and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), among others.

In addition to hosting its fellowship program on the Clark’s Williamstown campus, RAP maintains an active series of conferences, colloquia, symposia, and scholarly conversations presented at venues around the globe. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Getty Foundation have provided generous support to these programs. The Manton Foundation established an endowment to support the activities of the RAP program in 2007; in 2008, the Starr Foundation endowed the program’s directorship. Darby English was appointed Starr director of the program in April 2013.

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 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. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.

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