For Immediate Release
February 8, 2023


Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Tuesday, February 21 at 5:30 pm, the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program hosts a talk by Research and Academic Program Fellow Shawn Michelle Smith that contemplates the promises and risks of multispecies imaginings while reflecting on what it means to think about species historically and today. Smith considers Alison Ruttan’s artwork The Four Year War at Gombe (2009–2011) in this presentation. The talk takes place in the Clark’s auditorium and is free and open to the public. A reception in the Manton Research Center reading room at 5 pm precedes the program. 

Shawn Michelle Smith is professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. She studies the history and theory of photography and gender and race in visual culture. Smith has published seven books, including the award-winning titles At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen (Duke University Press, 2013) and Photographic Returns: Racial Justice and the Time of Photography (Duke University Press, 2020). Her project at the Clark, titled Environmental Double Consciousness, approaches environmental catastrophe through the lens of critical race studies and is also supported by a 2022 Guggenheim fellowship.

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

The next Research and Academic Program lecture is presented by Margaret S. Graves (Indiana University / Florence Gould Foundation Fellow), who discusses craft skills in the Middle East. The event takes place on Tuesday, March 14 at 5:30 pm.

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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