The Clark and the Williamstown Theatre Festival Co-Host “Listening to Mr. Whistler” on August 4

For Immediate Release

July 29, 2008

“Listening to Mr. Whistler,” a special event co-hosted by the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, will include a dramatic reading from James McNeill Whistler’s famous “10 O’Clock” lecture on art, as well as insights into the colorful life of this often controversial artist. “Listening to Mr. Whistler” will be held at the Clark on Monday, August 4, at 7:30 pm. Tickets, $20 ($15 members), can be reserved online at or purchased by calling 413-458-0524.

Hear how James McNeill Whistler, one of the featured artists in Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly on view at the Clark, practiced “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” in his own words. In 1890 Whistler’s book The Gentle Art of Making Enemies was published in part a response to, in part a transcript of, Whistler’s famous libel suit against critic John Ruskin. Ruskin had referred to Whistler’s painting Nocturne in Black and Gold:The Falling Rocket as “flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.” The book contains Whistler’s letters to newspapers chronicling his many petty grievances against various acquaintances and friends.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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