The Clark's Michael Cassin to Lecture at the Mahaiwe

For Immediate Release

June 25, 2013

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Michael Cassin, director of the Center for Education in the Visual Arts at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, will discuss the Clark’s current exhibit Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington on Thursday, July 11 at 7 pm. The lecture, which is the latest segment in an ongoing collaboration between the Clark and the Mahaiwe, is free and open to the general public.

Cassin’s talk focuses on the depth and variety of the Clark’s collection, drawing connections between Homer’s early illustrative work and his later paintings. Cassin plans to discuss the full range of Homer’s artistic production, not only from a technical point of view, but also from a historical perspective.

“Homer made different images at different times, with different methods and materials, so his art reflects the changes in American culture throughout his career,” Cassin said. This theme, he said, is most visible in Homer’s commercial illustration work, but is also evident in his later oil paintings, which also lend themselves to historical interpretation. Homer’s masterful Undertow, for example, contains information about the social position of women in nineteenth-century America: though permitted to visit the shore, they were seldom taught how to swim, a cultural constraint that may have been partly responsible for the real-life rescue Homer witnessed and which provided inspiration for the painting.

Cassin joined the Clark in 2000 as Curator of Education. Previously, he was head of education at The National Galleries of Scotland and worked in the education department of The National Gallery in London for ten years. Cassin has lectured about art and museum education at international conferences and has advised numerous museums on their education programs. His publications include More Than Meets the Eye and Art and…, books relating the visual arts to other curriculum subjects.

About the Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history. The Clark receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413-458-2303. The Clark’s library is closed for renovation through September 3, 2013.


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