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Public Conversation on Renoir to Kick Off Series of Free Sunday Programs at the Clark

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2003

In celebration of the exhibition Renoir and Algeria, the Clark Art Institute will offer a free public program every Sunday from February 16 through May 11. The series will begin with a public "conversation" about the exhibition on Sunday, February 16, at 2:00 p.m. Speakers will be guest curator Roger Benjamin, historian David Prochaska, and Carol Ockman of Williams College. Richard Kendall, consulting curator of 19th-century European paintings at the Clark, will moderate the discussion.

Roger Benjamin is the Director of the Power Institute and the Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Sydney, Australia. A leading scholar of Orientalist art, Benjamin is the author of Orientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism, and French North Africa, 1880-1930. David Prochaska is professor of history at the University of Illinois and the author of Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870-1920. Carol Ockman is professor of art at Williams College and an expert in 19th-century French painting. Richard Kendall is a noted expert on 19th-century painting and curator of the acclaimed exhibition Degas and the Dance at the Detroit Institute of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Upcoming free Sunday programs will be:

  • gallery talks of Renoir and Algeria on March 2, March 16, April 13, and May 11, 2:00 p.m.;
  • the film series "France in Algeria, Algeria in France" on February 23, March 9, March 23, April 6, April 20, and May 4, at 2:00 p.m.;
  • family days on March 1 and April 5 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.;
  • the lecture "Renoir's Importance for Picasso" by Elizabeth Cowling, senior lecturer in art history at the University of Edinburgh, on March 30 at 2:00 p.m.;
  • the lecture "Colonial Realities vs. Artistic Representation in French Algeria" by Jonathan Gosnell, professor of French language and literature at Smith College, on April 27, at 2:00 p.m.

The Clark's great painting Mlle. Fleury in Algerian Costume by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is the centerpiece of Renoir and Algeria, the first exhibition devoted to the Impressionist artist's Algerian subjects. The show will feature studio paintings done in Paris as well as landscapes, portraits, and images of life in Algeria inspired by Renoir's trips in 1881 and 1882. Organized by the Clark Art Institute with guest curator Roger Benjamin, a leading scholar of French Orientalist art, the exhibition features loans from American and European museums and private collections. Renoir and Algeria will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris.

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. Gallery admission is free through May. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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