The Clark


Manton Fellow Jiat-Hwee Chang presents “The (Trans)formation of Air-conditioning Complexes: Architectural Histories and Futures from Asia.” How did cities and urban populations around the world become dependent on air-conditioning? How did air-conditioning dependency transform built environment, material culture, and social practices? This lecture seeks to explore these questions by… Continue reading »


Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow Kirsten Scheid presents “Curating Jerusalem Actual and Possible: Political Lessons from a non-Euclidean City.” Treating an exhibition not as a representation but a “system of action,” reveals how it provides participants with a “critical space,” i.e., a semi-physical, sensorially alter-space. In this lecture, Scheid examines an… Continue reading »


Curatorial Fellow Adrienne Childs presents “Material Matters: Race and Materiality in the Decorative Arts.” A seventeenth-century ebony “blackamoor” cabinet, an eighteenth-century sterling silver slave candlestick, and a twenty-first-century black Murano glass chandelier are examples of decorative arts that figure into Childs’s examination of what she calls “Ornamental Blackness.” Childs… Continue reading »

Clark Fellow lecture–Susan Gagliardi: “Mapping Senufo”

Clark Fellow Susan Gagliardi presents “Mapping Senufo: Rethinking the Scholarly Monograph in the Era of Digital Publication.” What might research and the publication of results look like if scholars producing them integrated decades of theories about the construction of identities and the politics of knowledge production into their work… Continue reading »

Scholar Lecture–Jared Sexton-“Basic Black”

Beinecke Fellow Jared Sexton presents “Basic Black.” What would happen, what would be enabled theoretically and practically if we re-imagined and re-envisioned all color and all colors as blackness in the most expansive sense? Thinking about the universe (of color) as black tout court presents the challenge of addressing… Continue reading »


This public symposium will undertake a collective and comparative study of the art academy outside Europe and the United States as a way of defamiliarizing art and its associated practices in a global context. Speakers will examine case studies of institutions in Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Japan, China, Colombia, Iran,… Continue reading »

Alternative Art Histories: Future Directions in U.S. Latinx Art

Alternative Art Histories is a two-day symposium focused on U.S. Latinx art and art history. The symposium will bring together leading museum curators, museum directors, and art historians to discuss the aesthetic contribution of U.S. Latinx arts and how we might (re)imagine art history as a more aesthetically expansive, culturally… Continue reading »


The Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art Class of 2019 presents scholarly papers in its annual symposium. This keystone academic event is free and open to the public. FRIDAY MAY 31, 2019 9:00 am-5:00 pm Clark Art Institute Manton Auditorium… Continue reading »


Nora Rosengarten, the Judith M. Lenett Memorial Fellow, Williams College MA Class of 2019, discusses the subject of her yearlong conservation fellowship at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center: two early-nineteenth century globes produced by Josiah Loring in Boston, Massachusetts from the collection of Williams’s Chapin Library. Among the first… Continue reading »


Best known as a performance artist, Esparza began his career in visual arts as a painter, yet was unable to relate to the “old master” paintings and drawings that he studied as an undergraduate. He turned instead to performance, making art with his body among the landscapes of Los Angeles. Continue reading »


Clark Fellow Celeste Olalquiaga presents “In Quest of the Gorgon’s Head.” The terrifying Medusa of mythical fame is a reinterpretation of an archaic apotropaion, or protective emblem, the Gorgoneion. Greek classic culture transformed this protective figure into a destructive one, creating a paradoxical icon of female fury and power. Continue reading »


Mellon Decade Fellow Philippe Cordez presents “The Art of Commodities: Medieval Venice.” Since the twelfth century, Europe has seen a steady increase of highly specialized objects produced in large quantities, involving a variety of materials, techniques, ornaments, images, and functions, the very first of which was to be sold. Continue reading »


Robert Sterling Clark Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson presents “Louise Nevelson: Modernist Drag.” This talk investigates the work of sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), in particular her all-black wood-based reliefs—a formal idiom she pursued for decades—to argue for a politics of queer commitment, persistence, and excess. TUESDAY APRIL 2, 2019… Continue reading »


Clark Fellow Jennifer Bajorek presents “Strategic Invisibilities: Migration and Post-Representation.” This lecture explores work about migrants and migration in contemporary France. Bajorek thinks with artistic strategies that decenter the migrant as an anchor of truth and rights claims, and that privilege instead abstraction, redaction, non-representational cartography, occupation, and post-participatory… Continue reading »


Mellon Network Fellow Kris Cohen presents “Alma Thomas and the Graphical Picture Plane.” This talk describes how Alma Thomas’s Earth Paintings address, in ways both belied and surprisingly revealed by the language of abstraction, nascent configurations of the computer screen and the forms of labor and personhood associated with… Continue reading »


Clark Fellow Susan Sidlauskas presents “John Singer Sargent and the Matter of Paint.” The cosmopolitan son of a physician, John Singer Sargent dissolved the distinctions among fabric, flesh, and paint with the pictorial equivalent of dissection and its counter-activities: masking, binding, suturing, folding, and wrapping, sometimes within the very… Continue reading »

Lecture: Jill Casid — Necrolandscaping on the Border

Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow Jill Casid presents “Necrolandscaping on the Border.” In recent calls for an ecological aesthetics capable of reckoning with global Anthropocene crisis, landscape’s colonial and neo-colonial dreamwork, master-of-all-I-survey perspectives, and distanced way of seeing that reduces nature to object appear under the sign of negation. However, as I… Continue reading »


Nature’s limitless possibilities inspired nineteenth-century artists who transformed hazardous weather, natural disasters, and the Earth’s darkest caverns into awe-inspiring portrayals of natural phenomena. Curator Michael Hartman, Williams MA ’18 and current PhD student at the University of Delaware, examines how the rise of popular science transpired into a cultural… Continue reading »


Beinecke Fellow Mark Wigley presents, “John McHale and the Dissolving Architecture of Pop.” The British artist John McHale made some of the most radical and prophetic propositions about art, information, media, ecology, education, social life, prosthetics, the body, buildings, and the brain in the post-war years, yet has remained… Continue reading »

Berthe Morisot and the Making of Modernity

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Paris attracted women artists from around the world, drawn to the city’s academies, museums, studios, and salons. Guest lecturer Nicole Myers, Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, discusses the often-overlooked work of these artists, as well as… Continue reading »

A Conversation with Jennifer Steinkamp

Join Senior Curator Esther Bell as she welcomes Jennifer Steinkamp for a one-on-one conversation in conjunction with the exhibition Jennifer Steinkamp: Blind Eye, the groundbreaking video installation on view in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill from June 30–October 8. Saturday, June 30, 2018 11:00-12:00 Manton Auditorium… Continue reading »

The Landscape of the Modern Museum: A Conversation

What role does the modern museum play in the landscape and community in which it resides? How does leadership navigate the delicate line between stewardship and evolution? Clark Director Olivier Meslay joins Clark Grounds Manager Matthew Noyes, Chief Apiary Inspector and Apiary Program Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural… Continue reading »

Nina Dubin Lecture: Master of the World

Clark Visiting Professor Nina Dubin presents “Master of the World.” In the wake of the world’s first international financial crisis, Cupid claimed pride of place in French eighteenth-century art. The naked, winged infant deity personified not only the folly of love, but also the forces of inconstancy, mutability, and… Continue reading »

Daniel Savoy Lecture: Food for the Soul

Holly Fellow Daniel Savoy presents “Food for the Soul: Michelangelo, the Laurentian Library, and the Body’s Spiritual Nourishment.” In his celebrated book, The Architecture of Michelangelo (1961), the late James Ackerman (1919–2016) interpreted the Library of S. Lorenzo in Florence as a cohesive, living body, engaged in physiological dialogue… Continue reading »

Opening lecture–The Art of Iron

Before the advent of modern building materials, iron was used for everything from architectural gates and grills to household implements. Exhibition curator Kathleen Morris discusses some of the extraordinary objects included in the exhibition and what they tell us about bygone customs. Sunday, June 24  3-4pm Manton Auditorium… Continue reading »

Women Artists in Paris–Opening lecture by Esther Bell

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Paris attracted international women artists, drawn to the city’s academies, museums, studios, and salons. Curator Esther Bell considers the influential, often-overlooked work of these artists, as well as the barriers they encountered to their artistic education and expression. Women Artists in… Continue reading »

Public Lecture: The Hagiography of Place

Mellon Decade Fellow Kevin Carr presents, “The Hagiography of Place: Illustrated Legends of the Zenkōji Triad and the Formation of Sacred Cartographies in Medieval Japan.” In medieval Japan, why did people make pilgrimages and donate to religious centers? What role did the visual arts, material culture, ritual, cartography, and… Continue reading »

Public Lecture: Take Two: On The Origins Of Graphic Design

Mellon Decade Fellow Renzo Baldasso presents, “Take Two: On the Origins of Graphic Design in Printed Books.” The lecture will focus on graphics revisions found in books from Gutenberg’s Bible to the Jenson’s early publications. Analysis of examples of page-design revisions will shed light on the origins of graphic… Continue reading »

Public Lecture: Rococo Thought Patterns

Lauren Cannady presents “Rococo Thought Patterns.” If eighteenth-century curiosity cabinets were repositories for the dead and ossified, the garden was a parallel cabinet that provided a space for the viable, for living curiosities. Given that the organizing principal of the garden parterre was applied not only to plants, but… Continue reading »

Public Lecture: Titus Kaphar Speaks: Making Space For Black History

Mixed media artist Titus Kaphar presents a free lecture, “Making Space for Black History: Amending the Landscape of American Art,” as part of Claiming Williams Day, a campus-wide program at Williams College that focuses on building and sustaining a more inclusive community. Kaphar—who demonstrates “the deliberateness of a surgeon coupled… Continue reading »

The Resonant Object: A Symposium to Honor Charles W. Haxthausen

Nearly twenty years after the landmark Clark Conference “The Two Art Histories,”  graduates from the Williams-Clark program will gather to honor its former director, and to consider the intellectual, vocational, and pedagogical challenges posed by the art object with new and fresh eyes. Friday, May 18th 5:30-8:30pm  & Saturday, May… Continue reading »

Lecture: Drawing and Experimentation from Van Gogh to Pollock

In the opening lecture for Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, addresses the liberation of drawing between the 1880s to the 1950s as the medium’s function shifted from preparatory to independent. Saturday, February 3, 2018  3-4pm… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture: The Impressionist Line–Jay Clarke

In the opening lecture for the special exhibition The Impressionist Line: From Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Jay A. Clarke considers the hallmarks of “the impressionist line” by exploring works from the exhibition, including luminous color lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, aquatints by Mary… Continue reading »

Lecture: Spyros Papapetros–“Ornament and Evolution”

Spyros Papapetros, associate professor of history and theory of architecture at Princeton University, presents “Ornament and Evolution.” Enmeshed with the life histories of flourishing or atrophying social, political, and cultural organisms, turn-of-the-century discussions of the controversial topic of ornamentation invited a number of analogies with evolutionist theories as reinvented… Continue reading »

Lecture: Andrew Scherer

Mellon Decade Fellow Andrew K. Scherer presents “Baak: The Qualities and Craft of Ancient Maya Bone.” This illustrated lecture explores the materiality of human and animal bone among the Pre-Columbian Maya (ca. 400 BCE to 1502 CE). The importance of bone as craft material is apparent not only in… Continue reading »

Lecture: Christopher Heuer

Christopher Heuer presents “Arctic Ink.” When a mysterious cache of sixteenth-century Netherlandish engravings was found in the Arctic circle in 1870, many questions arose. What do such objects, for example, tell us about narratives of Renaissance globalization? About “cultural exchange” conceptualized not in terms of movement and difference, but… Continue reading »

Lecture: Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, “Slave Portraiture”

Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow Agnes Lugo-Ortiz presents, “Slave Portraiture at the Thresholds of Emancipation (A Caribbean Meditation).” This talk will address the visualization of enslaved subjects in portraiture during the period of emancipation in the Caribbean. It will underscore the conflictive political forces, affective dynamics, and aesthetic principles at work… Continue reading »

Lecture: Victoria Rovine–“Cloth and Colonialism”

Clark Fellow Victoria Rovine presents “Cloth and Colonialism: France, French West Africa, and the Construction of Cultures.” Cloth’s soft, pliable nature makes it an improbable vehicle for the assertion of power, yet it played a singular role in the history of French colonial West Africa. This lecture explores how… Continue reading »

Lecture: Matthew Jesse Jackson– “Everythingism”

Beinecke Fellow Matthew Jesse Jackson presents “Everythingism.” It could be argued that the most compelling art is no longer defined by particular media (painting, sculpture, photography, video), or by particular subjects (portraiture, landscape, still life, devotional image), or by particular strategies of representation (Cubism, Surrealism, Pop Art, Appropriation); instead,… Continue reading »

Peter Trippi Lecture: From the Vanderbilts to Candid Camera

Few artists’ legacies have experienced the extreme highs and lows accorded to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema over the last century. Since the 1980s, private collectors and museum curators have rediscovered Alma-Tadema’s many charms. Peter Trippi, co-curator of a large Alma-Tadema exhibition currently touring Europe, explores how and why these swings… Continue reading »

The Half-life of Love

This exhibition was curated by Margo Cohen Ristorucci MA ’17. Borrowing its title from the final lines of This Is How You Lose Her — Junot Díaz’s collection of short stories chronicling the fallout of infidelity — The Half-Life of Love explores the melancholic experience of romantic encounter: the heady… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture: Picasso’s Creative Collaborations

This talk by Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Sculpture Jay A. Clarke investigates how Picasso’s creative collaborations fueled and strengthened his art. We often think of Pablo Picasso as the ultimate artist genius, working alone in his studio, but he did not create in a vacuum. For example, the… Continue reading »

Clark Conference: Ecologies, Agents, Terrains

The Research and Academic Program at the Clark Art Institute presents “Ecologies, Agents, Terrains,” a Clark Conference. What is the place of art and its histories in a time of ecological crisis? This conference will bring together art historians, artists, and thinkers in related disciplines to consider how art… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture: Ecologies, Agents, Terrains — Clark Conference

The Clark Conference “Ecologies, Agents, Terrains” begins its two-day conference with a presentation by Ghana ThinkTank. Ghana ThinkTank (GTT) is an artist collective known for its unconventional approach to negotiating social conflicts. Using a blend of public art and community organizing, they have been “Developing the First World” since… Continue reading »

Clark Colloquium–Art: Creative Care

April 7-9, 2017 Convened by Kaira M. Cabañas (University of Florida) and Suzanne Hudson (University of Southern California) Participants: Lynne Cooke (National Gallery of Art), Ivone Margulies (Hunter College), Briley Rasmussen (Independent Scholar), Ana Maria Reyes (Boston University), Judith Rodenbeck (UC Riverside), Rebekah Rutkoff (Independent Scholar/Artist), Jenni Sorkin (UC Santa… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture: Orchestrating Elegance

Co-curators Kathleen Morris and Alexis Goodin share stories behind the creation of the exhibition and show how this project brings back to life one of the great interiors of the Gilded Age.   Sunday, June 4, 2017 3:00 pm-4:30 pm Manton Auditorium… Continue reading »

Annual Graduate Program Symposium

Twenty-second Annual Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art Symposium The M.A. Class of 2017 will deliver individual scholarly papers throughout the day. Starts 9am Manton Auditorium, Clark Art Institute, 225 South Street… Continue reading »

Site/Border: The Fragility of Narration–a Clark Colloquium

Site/Border: The Fragility of Narration Clark Colloquium February 24-25, 2017 Convened by Avinoam Shalem (Williams College/Columbia) and Christopher Heuer (RAP/Clark) Participants: Yto Barrada (Brooklyn-based artist), Holly Edwards (Williams College), Jérôme Game (Columbia University), Peter Geimer (Freie Universität), Emily Jacir (Palestine-based artist), Gerd Kroske (filmmaker), and (via Skype) Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths,… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture–Lara Yeager-Crasselt on “Looking North and South”

In this lecture, “Looking Anew at European Prints and Drawings,” curator Lara Yeager-Crasselt introduces the exhibition Looking North and South: European Prints and Drawings, 1500–1650. Highlighting Dutch, Flemish, German, and Italian prints and drawings from the Clark’s permanent collection, Yeager-Crasselt explores the importance of artistic exchange across Europe in… Continue reading »

Opening Lecture for “An Inner World”: Lara Yeager-Crasselt

In the opening lecture for An Inner World: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting, curator Lara Yeager-Crasselt explores the innovations in genre painting that emerged in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. Focusing on the significant developments in subject matter and technique pioneered by the fijnschilder (fine painter) Gerrit Dou and his contemporaries,… Continue reading »


Kristen Oehlrich, assistant director of the Clark’s Research and Academic Program, presents a gallery talk focusing on the work of women photographers Julia Margaret Cameron, Anna Atkins, and Gertrude Käsebier, whose work is included in the exhibition Photography and Discovery. Tuesday, January 17, 2017 2:00 pm-3:00 pm MANTON RESEARCH… Continue reading »

Public Lecture–Mary Roberts: “An Orientalist Gesamtkunstwerk?”

Robert Sterling Clark Professor Mary Roberts presents “An Orientalist Gesamtkunstwerk? Frederic Leighton’s Arab Hall.” Throughout his career British artist Lord Frederic Leighton traveled extensively across the Near East amassing an exceptional collection of Islamic art. Distancing himself from prevailing conventions of realism in nineteenth-century British Orientalism, Leighton insisted he… Continue reading »

Fellows Lecture–Tamara Sears: “Wilderness Urbanisms”

Clark Fellow Tamara Sears presents “Wilderness Urbanisms: Architecture, Landscape, and Travel in Southern Asia.” In the early 1340s, the sultan of Delhi tasked the famed Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta, with the job of accompanying a group of Mongol emissaries on their return voyage to China. Their route to the… Continue reading »

Fellows Lecture–Delinda Collier: “Natural Media”

Mellon Decade Fellow Delinda Collier presents “Natural Media—Light, Water, and Wind—in Souleymane Cissé’s Finye (1982) and Yeelen (1987) .” Cissé’s un-commonsense proposition about “new” mediums is that they are both reducible to natural media and arbitrarily connected to language. This relieves his films from the burden of primitivism, as… Continue reading »

Fellows Lecture–Ivan Gerát: “Image, Narrative, and Mentality”

Clark Fellow Ivan Gerát presents “Image, Narrative, and Mentality: Recent Perspectives in Approaching Medieval Pictorial Legends.” The role of narratives in creative artistic processes and their influence on the historical functions of images open many fascinating questions in art history and related disciplines. This lecture will present several case… Continue reading »

Film: State of Suspension

The Clark’s Research and Academic Program presents a free screening of State of Suspension (2008, 82 min), Mieke Bal’s experimental documentary of fragments in nine chapters; a provocative and critical look at Israel, sixty years after independence. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with Bal… Continue reading »

Jay Clarke-Opening Lecture for “Japanese Impressions”

Exhibition curator Jay A. Clarke provides an introduction to Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection, followed by a conversation between Clarke and Adele Rodbell, the collector who made a gift of sixty-three Japanese prints to the Clark in 2014. Sunday, Dec. 11th 3-4:30pm Clark Auditorium… Continue reading »

Olivier Meslay: Director’s Talk

Olivier Meslay, Felda and Dena Hardymon Director, gives his first public talk since assuming his role earlier this year. Meslay, the fifth director of the Clark, discusses the Institute and his plans for its future. Sunday, November 13, 2016 1:00 pm-2:30 pm Manton Research Center… Continue reading »

Annabelle Selldorf Talk

Annabelle Selldorf, the architect for the Manton Research Center’s redesign, talks about her practice and her work. A conversation follows with curators Kathleen Morris and Jay A. Clarke, librarian Susan Roeper, and Research and Academic Program Director Emeritus Michael Ann Holly. A book signing follows the talk. Saturday, November… Continue reading »

Public lecture: Jeremy Melius on “Idolatrous Ruskin”

This lecture revisits the relationship between Victorian critic John Ruskin and his disciple and translator Marcel Proust in order to rethink key aspects of Ruskin’s investments in the past, present, and durational intensity of works of art, as well as to offer new insight into his fervent belief in language’s… Continue reading »

Sebastian Smee on The Art of Rivalry

The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Sebastian Smee visits the Clark to discuss his acclaimed new work, The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art. Friday, Nov. 18  7-8:30pm Conforti Pavilion… Continue reading »

Conversation: Art After Democracy

Join six senior scholars and artists for the Clark conversation, “Art After Democracy.” This informal gathering centers loosely on post-1989 art to consider the place of critical politics, theory, and the “post-socialist” condition. Scheduled near the eve of the United States presidential election, the conversation is meant to both… Continue reading »

Scholar lecture: Stephanie Porras, “Maerten de Vos”

Mellon Decade Fellow Stephanie Porras presents “Maerten de Vos and the Renaissance In-between.” Maerten de Vos was a sixteenth-century Flemish artist who worked in Italy, a double convert (to Lutheranism before returning to Catholicism), and an export artist whose work could be found across Europe, South-East Asia, and the Americas… Continue reading »

Conversation With Susana Martinez-Conde

Dr. Martinez-Conde will use paintings from the exhibition Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado to talk about behavioral insights developed by Old Masters and how they used or challenged perceptual cues in their work. The program is hosted by the Clark and Williams College Program in Neuroscience… Continue reading »

A Clark Symposium: Whose Nudes?

“Whose Nudes? Painting, Collecting, Displaying the Body in Early Modern Europe” is a scholarly symposium held in conjunction with the Clark’s exhibition, Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado. This event brings together a group of international scholars, specializing in Italian, Spanish, and Netherlandish art, to create an engaging… Continue reading »

  • 1
  • 2