For Immediate Release
August 22, 2022


Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Tuesday, September 20, the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program (RAP) presents a lecture by Clark Fellow Olivier Bonfait (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France) entitled, “Read the Story and the Picture.” The talk takes place at 5:30 pm in the Clark’s auditorium in the Manton Research Center building.

In this lecture, Bonfait spans antiquity to the twenty-first century, delving into the interplay between the pictorial intelligence of the story based on a left-right dynamic and the lateralization of vision which is also part of  daily experience.

Olivier Bonfait is a professor at the Université de Bourgogne and the École du Louvre, and is also a member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He earned his Ph.D. from the Sorbonne with a dissertation on art and society of Baroque Bologna. Bonfait has published extensively, in particular on Nicolas Poussin and “Caravaggesque” painting. When he was director of the art history department at the Villa Médici—Académie de France (Rome), Bonfait curated several exhibitions spanning seventeenth- to nineteenth-century European art. At the Clark, he is researching the history of large-format painting and considering its important role in the formation of modern nation states. 

Free; no registration is required. Prior to the lecture, attendees are invited to join a reception in the Manton Research Center Reading Room starting at 5 pm. A recorded video of this lecture releases on the Clark’s YouTube channel on September 27. For more information, 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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