Member Gallery Talk: Beyond Skin Deep

Member Gallery Talk: Beyond Skin Deep


July 24, 2019

9:00 AM-10:00 AM

Clark Center


Beyond Skin Deep

Three guest experts from Williams College bring their unique perspectives as we consider Renoir’s magnificent nudes.

July 24, 9 am
Mike Glier, Professor of Art
“Cold Crit” is the term used for a style of art school critique in which the artist is not allowed to speak, but instead listens to the comments of colleagues, who must respond to the artwork instead of the intentions of the artist. It’s a useful strategy for understanding what an artwork is communicating, and how the artist shapes the exchange between an artwork and a viewer through visual means alone. The “Cold Crit” format seems like a particularly appropriate approach to an exhibition that is focused on eliciting the senses, since it relies on initial feelings as a prompt for final analysis. Guided by the sensual and intellectual responses of the group to a few paintings from Renoir: The Body The Senses, we will engage in an in depth visual analysis of the works in order to understand how our senses and our thoughts have been provoked and shaped into an experience. “In the spirit of the cold crit, Renoir will not speak, but he will be present”. 

September 4, 9 am
Brian Martin, Professor of French & Comparative Literature
Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work reflects a broad range of both artistic and literary production in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France, from the paintings of Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, and Paul Cézanne to the poems, stories, and novels of Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola, Charles Baudelaire, André Gide, and Marcel Proust. This gallery talk will examine several of Renoir’s paintings as a window into the mutual influence of these painters and writers, and their focus on sexuality and social class in fin-de-siècle France.

September 18, 9 am
Carol Ockman, Professor of Art History

Fleshing Out Renoir
Carol will examine the artist's insistence on the nude, the bather, and the seemingly timeless body in the context of both the classical tradition and his particular construction of femininity. Carol will discuss the importance of the social history of art, and especially the role of evolving feminist scholarship, in interpreting Renoir's work.

PLEASE NOTE: Reservations are required for all member events unless specified otherwise. Due to security regulations and the sensitive nature of works in our collection, we cannot accept walk-ins.
Space is limited; reservations are required. Call (413) 458-0425 or visit to make a reservation.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Self-Portrait (detail), 1899. Clark Art Institute, 1955.611