For Immediate Release
August 15, 2022


Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Saturday, September 10 at 11 am, the Clark Art Institute hosts a talk by Metropolitan Museum of Art Assistant Curator Elyse Nelson chronicling the making of the “Little Rodin Gallery” (1912) at the museum. Presented in conjunction with the Clark’s special exhibition Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern, Nelson’s talk takes place in the Clark’s auditorium.

The Metropolitan Museum, the first U.S. museum to acquire a work by Auguste Rodin, created its “Little Rodin Gallery” in 1912. The gallery featured over thirty of Rodin’s sculptures and seven of his drawings. The first major presentation of the artist’s sculptures within an American museum, this special gallery signaled Rodin’s newfound distinction in the United States. Nelson’s talk features rarely seen images and new research illuminating how key collectors, donors, curators, and Auguste Rodin himself collaborated to build a collection that would compose the “Little Rodin Gallery,” the Metropolitan’s first-ever gallery dedicated to the work of a living artist.

Elyse Nelson is assistant curator in the department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan, where she is responsible for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European sculpture. Previously, she held fellowships at the Metropolitan and at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and taught art history at Berklee College of Music. Prior to her curatorial appointment in 2019, Nelson assisted in the organization of Rodin at The Met (2017) and Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (2018). She is the co-organizing curator of Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast (2022–2023) and co-editor of the accompanying publication. She studied art history at Yale University, where she received a bachelor of arts degree; she received a master's degree with distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Nelson is completing her Ph.D. thesis on Canova’s British patronage at the Institute of Fine Arts (New York University). 

On view in the Clark Center through September 18, 2022, Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern explores how American museums and collectors embraced Rodin’s sculptures and drawings, and traces the arc of the artist’s reputation and legacy since the first U.S. museum acquisition was made in 1893 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With more than seventy works from more than thirty collections, this is the largest Rodin exhibition presented in more than forty years.

Free; no registration is required. 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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