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Le Corbusier Subject of March 10 Lecture at the Clark

For Immediate Release

February 20, 2009

Tim Benton will present the spring 2009 Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor Lecture “The Rhetoric of Images: Le Corbusier’s Lectures” on Tuesday, March 10, at 5:30 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Benton is lecturer in the History of Art at Open University (Milton Keynes, England) and the spring 2009 Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor at Williams College. The Clark/Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art sponsors this free lecture.

Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier (1887–1965) was known almost as well for his stimulating lectures as for the buildings he designed, and once claimed to have lectured to 2,000 people for three hours. He asserted that his lectures were improvised but Benton’s research has demonstrated that parts of the lectures were carefully prepared in advance, not only in some passages of written-out text, but also with sketches which planned out in detail the drawings he made on large sheets of paper or on the blackboard during the lectures themselves. Although plentiful material exists—notes, sketches, some transcripts, and a few transparencies—this study requires detective work and some speculation. Benton will examine lectures Le Corbusier gave in 1924 in which he laid down the basic principles of his lecturing technique. Referring to the classic theories of rhetoric, Benton will explain how Le Corbusier’s lectures worked and how he persuaded his listeners that a revolutionary modern architecture was required.

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. 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 is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (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 younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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