Advance timed tickets are required. Massachusetts travel restrictions are in place. Check for details prior to visiting.
Research and Academic Explore
RAP symposium


RAP organizes and invites proposals for year-round scholarly programs, which allow for sustained inquiry into a particular subject or theme. We welcome topics that challenge traditional expectations for art historical thinking, center new voices, address issues of historical as well as contemporary urgency, and expand the boundaries of the field. These events contribute to a broader understanding of the role of visual art in culture and enrich the intellectual life of the Clark and its surrounding communities.

“The Mandylion’s Marital and Martial Message Machines”

Glenn Peers (Syracuse University)

Byzantine precursor to the Veronica, the Mandylion was a self-portrait believed to be made by Jesus and sent to Abgar, king of Edessa (now Urfa in southeastern Turkey), with the apostle Thaddaeus. By the tenth century, the focus of this talk, the Mandylion was a message of the media dominance of representation under the new Christian dispensation. Wedding veil, battle mask, weapon of mass destruction, and king maker, it was these things and more as the material, figural media of earthly power and of union with the divine.

Glenn Peers is professor in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University and emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a fellow at the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Study in Jerusalem, a Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His publications include Orthodox Magic in Trebizond and Beyond: A Fourteenth-Century Greco-Arabic Amulet Roll and Byzantine Things in the World, which accompanied an exhibition he guest-curated at the Menil Collection, Houston. At the Clark, he will be working on a study of the post-human and media theory in Byzantine culture.

This prerecorded lecture is publicly available February 26 through June 15.

Public events

Art Worlds of Brazil

In this series of monthly lectures, beginning September 2020, foremost experts from Brazil will present on Brazil’s artistic heritage and contemporary culture.


The Clark Conference is an intellectual cornerstone of academic programming. Past conferences have addressed a wide range of subjects—including photography, the anthropologies of art, the role of the art historian, and emerging methodologies in Asian art—while providing an international forum for discussion raised by the study, presentation, and exploration of art. The conferences culminate in the publication of a volume in the ongoing series Clark Studies in the Visual Arts, published by the Clark Art Institute and distributed by Yale University Press.


Conservation | Making | Art | History – April 8–9, 2021


Clark Lectures, offered by Clark Fellows, present research to members of the community. Due to safety precautions, in spring 2021 fellows’ lectures will be prerecorded and shared on our website on the following Fridays:

Friday, February 26 – Glenn Peers (Syracuse University), “The Mandylion’s Marital and Martial Message Machines”

Friday, March 5 – Timothy Hyde (MIT), “Indifferent Objects: The Architectural Remains of Modernity”

Friday, March 19 – Robert Schindler (Birmingham Museum of Art), “Making Visible / Rachel Ruysch”

Friday, April 16 – Jennifer Nelson (University of Wisconsin–Madison), “The Ship of Faith Surrounded: The Genre of Encounter”

Friday, April 23 – Amy Freund (Southern Methodist University), “Man/Animal/Monarch/Nation: Hunting Art and Political Power in Eighteenth-Century France”

Lectures will be available online through the end of the spring semester.

Seminar-style events


The Clark sponsors colloquia—small, semi-private gatherings of researchers who wish to discuss topics of mutual interest. Colloquia focus on an array of themes spanning the history and historiography of art. 


Exhibition Concept Workshops allow collaboration among curators who are at the very earliest stage of an exhibition’s development, when the ideas are still germinal. Such a gathering assists curators in deepening and refining the idea driving their exhibition.

Browse RAP Events

See All


We welcome proposals twice a year for colloquia, exhibition concept workshops, and symposia. We seek ideas for interdisciplinary events that bring to public notice innovative work and research, particularly on topics related to diverse issues and practices that have historically been overlooked or sidelined in the discipline.


All applications submitted by April 1 will receive a decision by June 1 of that year. All applications submitted by October 1 will receive a decision by December 1.

RAP in the Archives

In honor of RAP’s regular Tuesday evening lectures, RAP shared lectures from previous seasons on Tuesdays in spring 2020. To see lectures and updates from former fellows, visit the Archives.