For Immediate Release
May 1, 2023


Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Sunday, June 4 at 2 pm, the Clark Art Institute hosts a conversation between scholars Kaira M. Cabañas and Raphael Koenig, who address art and mental health in a global context, in conjunction with the exhibition Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch. The program takes place in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

Cabañas and Koenig examine how the categories of “outsider art,” patient art, and art brut relate to one another, and our understanding of the creative process. Cabañas is the associate dean of academic programs and publications for the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the University of Florida, and Raphael Koenig is the visiting assistant professor in comparative literature at the University of Toulouse II and co-author of the Portals publication. 

Paul Goesch (1885–1940) suffered chronic illness and was isolated from his classmates, retreating into himself. Still, tutored by an older student, he developed a love of art and literature, as well as architecture. At the age of twenty-four, Goesch began a session during which he experienced his first psychotic break, and entered a sanatorium for treatment. His curiosity about the world led him to theosophy and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, with their focus on the connections between the outer, natural world and the inner spiritual one.

Goesch produced one of the most inventive, peculiar, and poignant bodies of work to emerge from Weimar Germany. An artist and architect, he made both fanciful figurative drawings and visionary architectural designs. The latter, which drip with eclectic ornament and resemble little made then or since, are the subject of Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch, the first dedicated to Goesch’s work in North America. The exhibition is on view in the Clark’s Eugene V. Thaw Gallery for Works on Paper through June 11, 2023.

Free; no registration is required. For more information, visit

Portals: The Visionary Architecture of Paul Goesch is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Robert Wiesenberger, curator of contemporary projects. It is based on the Paul Goesch collection at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 

This exhibition is made possible by Katherine and Frank Martucci.

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.

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