Clark to Premier New "Sterling Blend" Tea February 12

For Immediate Release

February 03, 2000

In connection with its upcoming American silver exhibition the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has developed its own blend of tea. The "Sterling Blend," referring to silver as well as to founder Robert Sterling Clark, is a blend of four black Asian teas created for the Clark by Harney and Sons of Lakeville, Connecticut. Sterling Blend will be served for the first time at the Clark's Valentine's Day party on Saturday, February 12, at 6:30 p.m., which celebrates the opening of A Fresh and Large Assortment: American Silver from the Burrows Collection.

The tea will be available at the Clark's Courtyard Café year-round and featured at many Clark events in the future. "A Fresh and Large Assortment includes a section devoted to teawares and to the social customs surrounding tea drinking in Colonial and Federal America," says Beth Carver Wees, curator of decorative arts. "As a devoted tea drinker myself, I loved the idea of being able to offer our visitors a good cup of tea. The opening of this exhibition seems a perfect time to introduce the Clark's own special blend." "The challenge was to create a tea that Mr. Clark himself would have enjoyed," says Clark executive chef Scott Avery, who worked with Harney and Sons to develop the Sterling Blend. "Sterling Blend is a substantial tea, much like the tea that Mr. Clark himself would have experienced on his travels through Asia." Sterling Clark won a Silver Star in the Boxer Rebellion in Tientsin, China, in 1900, and led a scientific expedition to northern China in 1908. "I like to think that if Mr. Clark tried this tea, he would think, 'hey, this is mine,'" says Avery.

The tea will be among the creative refreshments served at the February 12 event, which combines the theme of Valentine's Day with the themes of the silver exhibition. In addition to champagne and such "romantic" hors d'oeuvres as oysters on the half shell, refreshments will include chocolates in the shape of teacups and saucers. Tickets to the party are $30 ($20 for members); Sterling Blend will also be among the many varieties of tea sampled at a member's tea-tasting party on Sunday, March 12, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. It will also be served at a Colonial Tea Party for children on Sunday, March 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Reservations are required for both events. For more information, call 413-458-9545.

A Fresh and Large Assortment explores the use of silver in the home in Colonial and Federal America as well as the lives and social customs of the people who used and created it. Over one-hundred-fifty silver objects from the important private collection of Elizabeth H. Burrows and her late husband Henry Morris Burrows, ranging from shoe buckles and swords to tankards and teapots, are included.

The exhibition features pieces from the three major centers of American silver production-Boston, New York, and Philadelphia-ranging in date from 1667 to 1899. Paul Revere, Jacob Hurd, Myer Myers, and Joseph and Nathaniel Richardson are among the master silversmiths represented. A Fresh and Large Assortment will be on view February 13 through April 30. Also opening the evening of February 12 are Those Women: Toulouse Lautrec's Elles and French Images of Prostitution and Truth and Beauty: Peter Henry Emerson's Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads. Both exhibitions remain on view through April 23.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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