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THE CLARK ARCHIVES

ABOUT THE LIBRARY

The Clark houses one of the most distinguished art research libraries in the country, with more than 285,000 volumes in over 65 languages. Focusing on post-medieval European and American art, the collection is outstanding in the fields of Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, and nineteenth-century French art, the history of photography, and international contemporary art, as well as theory and visual culture.

 

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The library’s special collections enhance both library and museum holdings. Highlights include the founding collection of Robert Sterling Clark's rare books, the history of photomechanical reproduction, early illustrated printed books, decorative arts and sample books, twentieth- and twenty-first century artists’ books, and archival collections.

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special collections book of the month

Rare Book Collection

Dresses and Decorations of the Middle Ages.  Henry Shaw.   London: W. Pickering, 1843.

Costume and decorations from the seventh to the seventeenth centuries are illustrated and their sources (and contexts) described. Two sumptuously illustrated volumes include 94 plates that show paintings, miniatures, stained glass, furnishings, glasses, chests, vestments, gold cups, and jewelry. The plates are mostly hand-colored engravings; the initials and decorations are color printed from wood blocks.   Especially interesting are the illustrations that show aspects of medieval life, as in this picture, from the end of the 15th century, of pilgrims traveling to Canterbury. The picture is taken from a manuscript by poet John Lydgate, an immediate successor to Chaucer; his Storie of Thebes, intended as an addition to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, was probably illuminated by a Flemish artist.

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Serving the general public as well as visiting scholars and local students and faculty, the Clark library welcomes all visitors to use its reference and research services and enjoy its collections. An extensive array of electronic resources and reference materials support scholarly research in the field of Art History. Library staff are dedicated to assisting all users to access the library’s wide-ranging and diverse collections.

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New Acquisitions Book of the Week

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure.  Lisane Basquiat, Jeanine Heriveaux, Nora Fitzpatrick. New York, NY : Rizzoli Electa, 2022.

This landmark volume tells the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat from the intimate perspective of his family, intertwining his artistic endeavors with his personal life, influences, and the times in which he lived.  It features, for the first time, work from the Estate's largely unseen and significant collection of paintings, drawings, sketches, and ephemera. Organized by the family of Basquiat, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue feature over 200 never before and rarely seen paintings, drawings, ephemera, and artifacts. The artist's contributions to the history of art and his exploration into our multi-faceted culture--incorporating music, the Black experience, pop culture, African American sports figures, literature, and other sources--are showcased alongside personal reminiscences and firsthand accounts providing unique insight into Basquiat's creative life and his singular voice that propelled the social and cultural narrative that continues to this day. Structured around key periods in his life, from his childhood and formative years, his meteoric rise in the art world and beyond, to his untimely death, the book features in-depth interviews with his surviving family members.

LIBRARY HOURS

PUBLIC HOURS

The library is open without appointment.  Hours are:
Monday - Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

Click here for information on library COVID-19 protocols.

All are welcome to email the library with reference/research questions.

HOLIDAYS

The Library is closed to the public on the following holidays:
New Year's Day
Presidents' Day
Memorial Day
Juneteenth
Independence Day
Labor Day
Indigenous Peoples Day
Thanksgiving (2 days)
Christmas (2 days)

EXTENDED HOURS

Extended hours are available to holders of Clark badges.

Mon-Thurs       8 am to 11 pm
Friday               8 am to 6 pm
Saturday           9 am to 6 pm
Sunday             9 am to 11 pm

HOLIDAYS

With the exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day the library is open during holidays to anyone eligible for extended hours.