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The Clark Receives $414,000 Grant from the Mellon Foundation

For Immediate Release

May 14, 2008

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute received a three-year grant of $414,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of its Research and Academic Program. This is the second Mellon Foundation grant awarded since 2005 to the Clark’s program.

The new grant will fund an international workshop in collaboration with a research institute or university partner in Eastern or Central Europe, modeled after the Mellon-funded South African partnership of the past three years. The Research and Academic Program has been a pioneer in developing international collaborations and with the grant will continue to foster international intellectual exchange. The funds will also assist continuing activities with the program’s African partners, promote a series of colloquia and roundtable discussions, provide additional fellowship opportunities, increase the diversity of participants, and create a pre-doctoral position, the assistant director for Mellon Initiatives.

“It is an honor to receive this grant, our second, from the prestigious Mellon Foundation,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “In addition to recognizing the importance of the Research and Academic Program, it will enable us to continue with vital research, and expand the program to fully serve the international art community.” Michael Holly, director of the Research and Academic Program, agrees, emphasizing that “the Clark’s global reach, underwritten by the Mellon, has reverberations not only on the other countries it touches, but also on the way art and art history is thought about ‘back home.’ We gain in return at least as much as we give in our international collaborations.”

On Saturday, May 24, from 9 am to 9 pm, the public is invited to the Clark/Mellon Workshop “Contemporary African Art.” This gathering will examine the art historical scholarship, publications, exhibitions, and cultural institutions shaping the representation of contemporary African art. The first two-day workshop took place at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2007. The second two-day workshop, bringing people together from Africa, Europe, and North America, takes place at the Clark May 23 and 24, 2008. On May 24, the public is invited to hear lively conversation and debate among participants about artists, exhibitions, biennials, curatorial practices, and research in contemporary African art. The conference is organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the Getty Trust.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism 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 is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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