For Immediate Release
October 31, 2022


Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Saturday, November 19, at 11 am, the Clark Art Institute hosts a lecture by Rebecca Szantyr in conjunction with the opening of On the Horizon: Art and Atmosphere in the Nineteenth Century. Szantyr is the exhibition curator and a former curatorial assistant for works on paper at the Clark. In the talk, Szantyr discusses the exhibition's major themes and moments and how artists integrated scientific developments with pictorial invention as they worked to portray atmospheric effects. The free talk is presented live via Zoom. 

On the Horizon: Art and Atmosphere in the Nineteenth Century examines how artists and image makers incorporated new scientific and technological understandings of the atmosphere into their works and creative practices. Ideas about the airspace, both as a realm and a physical frontier, signaled novel artistic possibilities. Suddenly, the atmosphere had a visual role to play in artworks—the aerial dimension came to be recognized as an essential and active pictorial element. To nineteenth-century artists, air offered a major representational challenge: How is it possible to portray something typically characterized by its transparency?

The works featured in this exhibition chronologically chart the visual response to the ideation, use, and eventual misuse of air in the nineteenth century. In their respective enterprises, both scientists and artists adopted a forward-looking perspective to study and describe the expanding knowledge and conceptualization of the atmosphere. In turn, this shaped how audiences—both in the past and in the present day—came to observe and express the aerial dimension through different modalities.

Free; advance registration is required for the Zoom transmission. Registrants will receive an email with a private Zoom link to this live virtual program before the event. For more information and to register, visit

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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