The Research and Academic Program (RAP) supports scholarship in art history, visual culture, and interdisciplinary inquiry that challenges how we think about writing history and addresses the complexity of our contemporary world. We are particularly dedicated to projects that reimagine the borders and geographies of art history’s dominant narratives. RAP hosts fellows who pursue innovative research projects at the Clark. We also create and collaborate on programming that invests in thoughtful and passionate debate with colloquia, exhibition concept workshops, and our Clark Conference. Through public and academic events, international partnerships, and an active role in the Clark/Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art, we aim to make our art history accessible to a diverse audience while supporting research that shapes how we understand and imagine our world.
RAP is an integral part of the Clark Art Institute, which has one of the strongest art history libraries in the United States. Located in Williamstown, a rural corner of Western Massachusetts, the Clark boasts a pastoral setting, striking natural and architectural landscapes, and the strong artistic community of the Berkshires. This combination of solitude found in nature and the lively community fostered among scholars offers an exceptional opportunity for the pursuit of intellectual inquiry.
RAP has received generous support from a broad range of foundations and institutions. The Manton Foundation established an endowment in support of the program in 2007. The program’s directorship was endowed by the Starr Foundation in 2008. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Getty Foundation have both provided integral support for programming and fellowships.