For Immediate Release
August 10, 2022
ESTHER BELL PROMOTED TO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
OF THE CLARK ART INSTITUTE
Williamstown, Massachusetts––Esther Bell, who currently serves as the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Chief Curator of the Clark Art Institute, has been promoted to Deputy Director. Bell retains her curatorial role and takes on added responsibilities in overseeing the work of the Clark library, supervising visitor services activities, and supporting Director’s Office initiatives.
“In the five years since she joined the Clark’s staff, Esther Bell has proven herself to be an exceptional leader and a trusted colleague, and she brings great ingenuity and creativity to all aspects of her work. I have every confidence that she will manage her additional duties with the same keen eye for detail and deep commitment to the Clark’s mission that has made her such an important part of our team,” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark.
Bell joined the Clark staff in 2017 and has since been deeply immersed in the Clark’s special exhibition program as well as managing all aspects of the care, growth, and development of the Clark’s permanent collection. Bell co-curated the 2019 exhibition Renoir: The Body, The Senses, with George T.M. Shackleford, deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, and was heavily involved in all aspects of the Clark’s first outdoor exhibition, Ground/work, which opened in 2020. She is the co-curator of an upcoming exhibition featuring French drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France and is preparing a major monographic exhibition for 2024 on Guillaume Guillon-Lethière (1760–1832).
“I am honored to serve as the Clark’s Deputy Director and am deeply committed to collaborating closely with my colleagues across the Institute as we bring new projects and programs to the forefront. The Clark has many exciting plans ahead and I look forward to working with Olivier Meslay, and with the entire Clark team, as we continue the important mission of serving our communities,” said Bell.
In addition to overseeing the Clark’s curatorial staff, Bell supervises the Institute’s Departments of Education and Public Programs. She is also active in several senior management working groups and internal staff committees, including its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisory Group.
In 2020, Bell completed a fellowship at the Center for Curatorial Leadership in New York, a rigorous program designed to identify emerging arts leaders and provide them with the training necessary to prepare them for work in the rapidly evolving cultural climate of the twenty-first century. Bell holds a doctorate in the history of art from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, with a specialization in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European art. She earned a master’s degree from the Williams College/Clark Graduate Program in the History of Art, and a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the University of Virginia. She completed a Fulbright Fellowship at the Musée du Louvre in 2003 and has held numerous fellowships.
Before joining the Clark’s staff, Bell served as the curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Prior to that, she was the curator of European paintings, drawings, and sculpture at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Bell began her career in New York, serving as a research assistant and curatorial fellow at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Museum and Library. In 2015, Apollo magazine named Bell as one of the top ten curators in North America under the age of forty.
ABOUT THE CLARK ART INSTITUTE
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 timed tickets are recommended. Admission is $20. Admission is also free on a year-round basis for Clark members, all visitors age twenty-one 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 more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
Use of facemasks is optional for all visitors. For details on health and safety protocols, visit clarkart.edu/health.
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