For Immediate Release
February 22, 2023


(Williamstown, Massachusetts)— On Tuesday, March 14 at 5:30 pm, the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program hosts a talk by Research and Academic Program Fellow Margaret S. Graves, who discusses craft skills in the Middle East. These skills are usually portrayed as dying out in the nineteenth century but were in fact redirected toward a new market generated by the colonial project: the faking, forging, and fictionalizing of antiquities, especially ceramics. By recognizing faking and forgery on the market for Middle Eastern ceramics as skilled forms of craft and as sites of Indigenous participation in global capitalism, this project reveals the challenges that colonial modernity presents to the discipline of art history, via the objects that moved through it and were remade in its image.

Margaret S. Graves is an associate professor of art history at Indiana University in Bloomington. She specializes in the plastic arts of the Islamic world. Her publications include Arts of Allusion: Object, Ornament and Architecture in Medieval Islam (Oxford University Press, 2018), as well as several edited and co-edited volumes on the art and material culture of the Islamic world, including Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean (Indiana University Press, 2022, with Alex Seggerman). At the Clark, Graves is writing a book titled Invisible Hands: Islamic Ceramics and the Colonial Art Market, which discusses modern collecting economies and the craftsmanship of faking in a work. 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. 

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

The next Research and Academic Program lecture is presented by Kathryn Howley (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU / Beinecke Fellow), who discusses ancient and modern “body worlds” in Description de l’Égypte. The event takes place on Tuesday, April 4 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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