Public Conversation at the Clark Examines Portraiture in American Art

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2013

Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents “This Is a Portrait If I Say So,” a public conversation that concludes a curatorial roundtable, on Saturday, April 6 at 5:30 pm. The free event will be held in the Clark Café and is open to the public.

As part of its Research and Academic Program, the Clark holds curatorial roundtables with the objective of bringing together curators and their collaborators who are in the early stages of developing an innovative and ambitious exhibition project. Roundtables are supported by the Clark's grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This roundtable and public conversation are centered around the development of an exhibition by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery that will examine the rise and evolution of symbolic, abstract, and conceptual portraiture in American art. Spanning one hundred years of American art, the exhibition—scheduled to open in 2015—will explore new ways of thinking about and picturing the self and others. This preparatory event, culminating in the public conversation, will help form the intellectual framework for an exhibition that hopes to reassess the theoretical underpinnings of portraiture as a genre, practice, and social activity over the course of the past century.

The event is convened by Jonathan Frederick Walz, Curator, Cornell Fine Arts Museum; Kathleen Merrill Campagnolo, independent curator and scholar; and Anne Collins Goodyear, Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery.

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 is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June (daily in July and August), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free through June8, 2013; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID; and $15 June 9, 2013 through September 8, 2013. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit

The Clark’s library will be closed for renovation June 1 through September 3, 2013.


Press contact:
Amanda Powers
[email protected]

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