For Immediate Release
March 10, 2023
CLARK ART INSTITUTE RESEARCH AND ACADEMIC PROGRAM PRESENTS LECTURE ON ANCIENT AND MODERN 'BODY WORLDS' IN DESCRIPTION DE L'ÉGYPTE
Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 pm, the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program hosts a talk by Research and Academic Program Fellow Kathryn Howley, who argues that the bodily preoccupation of ancient Egyptian art is one reason why it has proven unusually appealing to modern audiences, ever since the beginnings of modern Egyptology in Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt in 1798. By analyzing the original sketches made by members of Napoleon's expedition as well as the resulting engravings published in the monumental book Description de l’Égypte (1809–1820), this lecture demonstrates that although scholars were drawn to the proliferation of bodies in Egyptian art, they distorted unfamiliar Egyptian proportions into something akin to the Greco-Roman ideal, which were acceptable to European eyes.
Kathryn Howley is the Lila Acheson Wallace Assistant Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. She is particularly interested in the material culture of intercultural interaction and identity, which she explores through her fieldwork project at the Amun Temple of King Taharqo at Sanam in Sudan. At the Clark, she is working on a book manuscript that argues that the proliferation of bodies in ancient Egyptian imagery is central to how the proliferation has functioned upon its audience, both ancient and modern; the manuscript also explores the ways in which modern body politics have influenced the understanding of ancient Egyptian art.
Free; no registration is required. For more information, visit clarkart.edu/events.
The next Research and Academic Program lecture is presented by Joshua I. Cohen (City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center), who examines African modernisms in the Francophone contexts of decolonization and the global Cold War. The event takes place on Friday, April 14 at 5:30 pm.
ABOUT THE CLARK
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 clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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