Series on "American Attitudes Toward Nature" Continues March 9

For Immediate Release

March 03, 2000

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will offer the three-part Course at the Clark "American Attitudes Toward Nature, 1600-2000," on Thursdays, March 2, 9, and 16, at 3:00 p.m. Benjamin W. Labaree, professor emeritus of history and environmental studies at Williams College, will give three illustrated talks tracing the attitudes of successive generations of Americans toward their environment.

Cost for the entire series is $14 ($12 for members of the Clark). Individual lectures may be attended for $6 each ($5 for members). For reservations, call 413-458-2303, extension 324.

The course will open on March 2 with "Conquering the Wilderness, 1600-1800," examining the beliefs of the early settlers who wished to tame their surroundings. In the second session, "Developing the Resources, 1800-1900" on March 9, Labaree will focus on the transition from a society of farmers living in harmony with nature to the industrial revolution. The final talk on March 16 will be "Preserving the Commons, 1900-2000," exploring the twentieth-century desire to balance development and preservation.

Labaree taught at Williams from 1963 to 1992 and has also held teaching positions at Harvard University, Clark University, Trinity College, and Tufts University. He has been director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College and of the Williams College/Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime Studies. His many honors and awards include the 1999 John Lyman Prize from the North American Society for Oceanic History for his book America and the Sea (1998). His other publications include Colonial Massachusetts: A History (1979); American's Nation-Time, 1607-1789 (1978), and The Road to Independence, 1763-1776 (1963).

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

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