A treasured time

One of my greatest anticipations during the summer is a journey to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts with my sister. The Clark is located on rolling lawns nestled in a beautiful wooded area. Before you even enter the building, you can sense a feeling of peace and the need to explore.

     Winslow Homer is one of the artists whose work that were on display. He was born in Boston in 1836. He started out as an apprentice lithographer for $5.00 per week and hated it. He also did extensive week for the publication, Harpers Weekly where he earned $30.00 a week plus railroad expenses.

Winslow Homer, Kate Jennings     Travelling from New York to Virginia, he gathered material for his Civil War engravings. Although his engravings are stunning, it is Homer’s watercolors that make me want to go back and look again and again. I can almost feel the spray of water in the painting, “Sloop Nassau” and “Salt Kettle: Bermuda” illustrates a beautiful simplicity that can leave the viewer refreshed. These works can be found in the book, “Winslow Homer” by Kate F. Jennings produced by Brompton Books and the 1990 edition published by Crescent Books.

     Whatever medium Homer used to produce his great works, he had a talent for producing eye-catching compositions with a wonderful sense of movement and design.

     It is not important for me to know ahead of time, which paintings will be on display, because I just enjoy the drama of surprise.

Review by Pat Rayman

The History of the Clark

     While Sterling and Francine Clark had collected art strictly for pleasure, they were interested in establishing a public art gallery for their collection. Sterling considered founding a museum in Cooperstown, New York, near his family’s home, or bequeathing everything to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but by 1946 had decided to create a museum on property he purchased at the corner of Park Avenue and Seventy-second Street in Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, however, the Clarks resolved to build their museum outside of New York, and were drawn to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

     The Clarks had a strong familial tie to Williams College, where Sterling’s grandfather had served as a trustee between 1878 and 1882 and his father was a trustee from 1882 to 1886. Encouraged by a series of conversations with the leaders of Williams College and its art museum, Sterling and Francine Clark first visited Williamstown in the early autumn of 1949. This visit was followed by a warm and friendly correspondence between the leaders at Williams and the Clarks, who resolved to situate their museum within walking distance of the college. A charter for the new Institute was signed on March 14, 1950, just six short months after the Clarks first visited Williamstown.

     The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, see www.clarkart.edu or call 413.458.2303.

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Published by on January 2014. Filed under Archives, Reviews - Books, Reviews-other, Two Sisters Bookmart, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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