For Immediate Release
September 11, 2023


Grant to support summer 2024 exhibition on Guillaume Lethière

(Williamstown, Massachusetts)—The Clark Art Institute recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for $100,000 to support the implementation of a summer 2024 exhibition on French artist Guillaume Lethière. The grant to the Clark was part of a $41.3 million package of 280 humanities projects nationwide recently announced by the NEH. 

“We are extremely grateful to the NEH for its support and for the recognition of the importance of this project,” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. “This is the first time in the Clark’s history that we have received an NEH grant in support of an exhibition and its related programming and we are very honored to be in the prestigious company of the other recipients.”

Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, Guillaume Guillon-Lethière (1760–1832), the son of a government official and plantation owner and a formerly enslaved woman of color, was a key figure in the history of art during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  As a painter, Lethière achieved the highest levels of recognition in his time. A favorite artist of Napoleon’s brother, Lucien Bonaparte, he served as director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1807 to 1816, as a member of the Institut de France beginning in 1818, and as a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts beginning in 1819. Despite his fame and influence during his lifetime, Lethière’s story has been all but lost to history. 

The Clark’s exhibition is the first major museum presentation on Lethière’s remarkable life and achievements and will provide new insights into questions relevant in the artist’s time regarding the reception and assessment of Caribbean art. 

The Clark’s exhibition opens on June 15, 2024 and is planned to feature some eighty paintings, drawings, and prints. 

“These 280 new grant awards underscore the wide range of exemplary, fascinating, and impactful humanities work that scholars, practitioners, and institutions are conducting in all corners of the country,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo).

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

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 some 300,000 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. Admission is free January through March and is $20 from March through December; admission is free year-round for Clark members, all visitors age 21 and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is also 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.

Press contact: [email protected]