The Clark

In 1950 Sterling and Francine Clark chartered the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a home for their extensive art collection. Opened to the public in 1955, the Institute has built upon this extraordinary group of works to become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. One of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with research and academic programs, including a major art history library, the Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history. Building upon the founders’ legacy, the Institute recently completed its master plan for the twenty-first century. This final phase of a transformational campus expansion program adds new facilities to support the growth of museum and academic programs; enhances the visitor experience of the Clark; improves circulation throughout the campus; and creates new levels of environmental sustainability across its 140-acre grounds while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting.

Mission

The Clark is one of only a handful of institutions globally with a dual mission as an art museum and a distinguished center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. No other institution of its scale and character has such a complex and exhilarating mission—complex because interrelating the differing purposes of an art museum and a center for research and higher education is so challenging, and exhilarating because the possibilities and implications of this combination are so dynamic.
 
The Clark’s mission and its geographical location define three essential aspects of its character and identity: the quality of its art, the beauty of its pastoral setting, and the depth of its commitment to the generation of ideas.