For Immediate Release
July 14, 2014
Williamstown, MA—The Clark Art Institute presents the free lecture “The Same Only Better: Updating a Beloved Museum” with architect Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, principal of Selldorf Architects, this Friday, July 18 at 2 pm in the Manton Research Center auditorium. Selldorf will engage in conversation with Robert & Martha Lipp Senior Curator Richard Rand and Sylvia & Leonard Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions Kathleen Morris about her redesign of the Clark’s Museum Building.
The three speakers will provide a step-by-step explanation of the renovation and expansion process, discussing the fine balance between maintaining the intimacy and charm of the building and creating new gallery spaces, improving circulation patterns, and upgrading lighting, display finishes, and more.
Designed by architect Daniel Deverell Perry and erected in 1955, the Museum Building is a neoclassical white marble temple that houses the Clark’s permanent collection. With Selldorf’s guidance, the building has been subtly but extensively reworked, with many of the changes barely noticeable. “In truth, there is not a surface of the museum that has not been touched…. To a large extent we took it all apart, overlaid it with a new circulation logic, updated it with state of the art technology and freshness, and then put it all back together,” Selldorf said. Updates include restructured lighting, green initiatives, a new gallery layout, and an additional 2,200 square feet of exhibition space. Gallery wall colors were changed to emphasize the beauty of the building’s interior and to showcase the art in the best way possible.
“We wanted an integrity of architecture that stands on its own, but without taking away from the art, so while viewing the art, you experience the space at the same time," Selldorf said during a recent site visit. She continues to work on the renovation of the Clark’s Manton Research Center.
Selldorf Architects is a 55-person firm in New York City that Annabelle Selldorf founded in 1988. Clients include cultural institutions and universities such as the Neue Galerie New York, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Brown University. The firm also has created numerous galleries for David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Gladstone Gallery, and Gagosian Gallery, among others, and has designed exhibitions for Frieze Masters and the 2013 Venice Art Biennial.
In addition to the Clark’s renovation, Selldorf Architects recently completed several cultural projects in the United States and Europe. In Venice, the firm designed Le Stanze del Vetro, a new museum dedicated to modern and contemporary glassmaking. This year in New York, the firm completed a 30,000-square-foot LEED Gold gallery building for David Zwirner and converted the former Roxy roller rink and night club into a vast new exhibition space for Hauser & Wirth. Currently, the firm is renovating Brown University's John Hay Library and converting a fourteen-acre former rail depot into an art foundation and research center for the LUMA Foundation's Parc des Atelier in Arles, France.
Selldorf is a recipient of the 2014 Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which recognizes American architects whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Academician of the National Academy Museum, president of the board of the Architectural League of New York, and a board member of the Chinati Foundation.
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark opened its expanded facilities on July 4, 2014, unveiling new and enhanced spaces that accommodate the continued growth of the Institute’s programs. Included in this final stage of the project are a new 42,600-square-foot Clark Center designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, expansion and renovation of the original Museum Building and the ongoing renovation of the Manton Research Center by Selldorf Architects, and a sweeping redesign of the grounds by Reed Hilderbrand. The first phase of the campus expansion project was completed in 2008 with the opening of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a striking conservation and exhibitions facility also designed by Tadao Ando.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Opening season hours: Galleries open daily from July 4 through October 13, 2014, 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesdays until 6 pm and Fridays until 7 pm in July and August). From October 14, 2014 through June 30, 2015: Galleries open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 through October 31, 2014 and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.