International Tour of French Masterworks from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Opens in Kobe, Japan

For Immediate Release

June 07, 2013

The Clark’s International Tour Marks Attendance Milestone in Tokyo before Opening at Second Japanese Venue 

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The international tour of French nineteenth-century paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s collection opens Saturday, June 8 at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Japan, marking the eighth stop on the Clark’s world tour that has drawn more than 1.6 million visitors since it began in October 2010. The exhibition recently ended a sixteen-week presentation at the Mitsubishi Ichikogan Museum in Tokyo and marked a new record for attendance with more than 215,000 visitors. 

Open to the public through September 1, 2013, the exhibition at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum features seventy-three paintings, including works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Camille Pissarro, as well as those by Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme. 

“It has been tremendously exciting and rewarding to see the response our paintings have garnered from audiences around the world. The extraordinary enthusiasm and appreciation shown by the Japanese people is most gratifying,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “We are eager to see our paintings on view at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum because their beautiful museum was designed by Tadao Ando, the architect of our Stone Hill Center and our new Visitor, Exhibition, and Conference Center. This will mark a very significant moment in the tour and an equally auspicious preview of the gallery experience we will soon have here at the Clark.”

The timing of the international tour coincides with the current building activity tied to the Clark’s campus expansion program, including the construction of the new Visitor, Exhibition, and Conference Center designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Ando. Following its presentation in Kobe, the exhibition will move to the Shanghai Museum, where it will open on September 20, 2013.

“The Clark’s paintings serve as our ambassadors to the world during this exciting period of change and growth on our campus,” said Conforti. “They have also proven to be great ambassadors for the rich cultural offerings available in the Berkshires. We are proud to be able to use our tour as a way of introducing the Berkshires to audiences around the globe and encouraging them to visit the region.”
Accompanying the exhibition is the catalogue Great French Paintings from the Clark, published by Skira Rizzoli in spring 2011, with editions in five languages. The 240-page publication, available in hardcover, features 131 color illustrations accompanied by essays by James A. Ganz and Richard R. Brettell.

About the Clark Collection

Sterling and Francine Clark acquired most of the paintings that form the basis of the Clark’s collection. From the 1910s until the 1950s, the Clarks assembled an outstanding collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, and drawings, as well as British silver and European porcelain. The Clark is best known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings, including more than thirty works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which take their place within a wider ensemble of masterworks that date from the Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the collection has expanded greatly since the opening of the Clark in 1955, including a growing collection of early photography, the scope and character continues to represent the taste and interests of the founders. 

About the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

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, or call 413 458 2303. The Clark’s library is closed for renovation through September 3, 2013.

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