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Tadao Ando Wins Prize From american Institute of Architects

For Immediate Release

December 14, 2001

Tadao Ando, the architect selected by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to design its new facility, will receive the highest individual honor awarded by The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The national organization has selected Ando to receive the 2002 AIA Gold Medal, which recognizes an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Ando will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 1.

Ando, 60, is the 59th AIA Gold Medalist, joining the ranks of such visionaries as Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and I.M. Pei. In recognition of their legacy in architecture, the name of each recipient is chiseled into a granite wall in the lobby of the AIA's Washington headquarters.

"Mr. Ando's buildings embody the timelessness of all enduring architecture, but pay homage to such 20th-century icons as Louis Kahn and Le Corbusier," said David H. Watkins, AIA Texas Regional Director, who nominated Ando for the award.

A self-trained architect, Ando has worked widely in Germany, Spain, Italy, and France as well as his native Japan. Using the simple geometric forms of traditional Japanese architecture, Ando has designed museums, religious structures, and residential and commercial buildings. In 1995 Ando was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's most prestigious award.  His firm is based in Osaka, Japan. The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Ando's first building in the U.S., opened in St. Louis in mid-October; and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which he is designing, opens in the fall of 2002.  He was also recently chosen to design the Calder Museum in Philadelphia, scheduled to open in 2005.

The Clark's new building, scheduled to break ground in 2004, will be Ando's first museum project set within a rural American landscape. The 85,000 square-foot building will include new gallery space to exhibit more of the Clark's growing collection, particularly American art and decorative arts, as well as improved special exhibition galleries and visitor services such as orientation, shop, and restaurant. The new facility will also support the continued growth of the Institute's seminal research and academic programs, which stand among the foremost in the country, and house the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is one of the country's foremost art museums and also a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. The Clark's exceptional collections of Old Master, Impressionist and 19th-century American art on display in the museum's intimate galleries are enhanced by the beauty of its 140-acre setting in the Berkshires. The Clark is also recognized for its special exhibitions, such as the recent Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890, which concurrently advance critical thought and generate popular interest in the arts.

The Institute is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation's leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of directors of art museums, curators, and scholars. The Clark's Fellows and conference programs draw university and museum professionals from around the world to pursue research and share new scholarship.  The Institute encompasses one of the most comprehensive art history libraries in the world. The Clark also is home to the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, which serves more than 50 institutions in the region and also provides professional training in art conservation.

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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