For Immediate Release
September 26, 2022



Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Wednesday, October 12 at 12 pm, the Clark Art Institute presents a virtual book talk with author and filmmaker Alan Govenar. Govenar joins Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark, in a conversation about his novel, Boccaccio in the Berkshires. The event takes place via Zoom.

In a profoundly satirical homage to fourteenth-century writer Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, Govenar’s novel provides a fresh take on human interactions in the time of COVID. Where Boccaccio’s short stories told tales of ten people sheltering in a villa outside Florence to escape the Black Death (a bubonic plague pandemic in the 1300s), Govenar chronicles the contemporary story of ten asymptomatic pandemic survivors who shelter together in an Italianate mansion in the Berkshires. They form unexpected bonds as they tell each other stories to cope with the bizarre conditions of the modern world. 

Alan Govenar is an award-winning writer, poet, playwright, photographer, and filmmaker. He is the founder and president of Documentary Arts, a non-profit organization that advances essential perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures. Govenar is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of more than thirty books, including Paradise in the Smallest Thing, Stoney Knows How: Life as a Tattoo Artist, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Untold Glory, Texas Blues, Stompin’ at the Savoy, Everyday Music, Texas in Paris, Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter, and A Pillow on the Ocean of Time.

Free. Advance registration for the Zoom transmission is required. Registrants will receive an email with a private Zoom link prior to the event. For more information and to register, visit Copies of Boccaccio in the Berkshires are available through the Clark’s Museum Store.

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 285,000 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 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday, from September through June, and daily in July and August. Advance tickets are strongly recommended. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, all visitors age 21 and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; and EBT Card to Culture. For information on these programs and more, visit or call 413 458 2303. 

Use of facemasks is optional for all visitors. For details on health and safety protocols, visit

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