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Jay A. Clarke Appointed Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Clark

For Immediate Release

March 12, 2009

Michael Conforti, director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, announced today that Jay A. Clarke has been appointed Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs of the museum located in Williamstown, MA. She will begin her duties on May 4.

Clarke comes to Williamstown from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she serves as Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings. While there she curated a number of exhibitions including German Art and the Past: Prints and Drawings from Friedrich to Baselitz, Postwar German Works on Paper: Gifts of Susan and Lewis Mailow, and Goya’s Vision: Prints from the Permanent Collection. Clarke’s current exhibition Becoming Edvard Munch has been hailed by The New York Times as “a thrilling exhibition” and by the Chicago Tribune as “among the institute’s finest of the last 30 years.” In addition to curatorial expertise, Clarke brings a passion for and wealth of experience in teaching, having served as an instructor for a number of courses and seminars at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Brown University. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University and a B.A. from Holy Cross.

“We are fortunate to have Jay joining the Clark. Her curatorial and academic experience will provide an exciting and professional support to our dual mission as both an art museum with a dynamic exhibition program, and a research and academic center for visiting scholars, graduate training, and internationally recognized symposia and conferences,” said Conforti. “I speak for everyone on our staff when I say we are really looking forward to working with her.”

The position of Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs was endowed in 2007 by the Manton Foundation with a $50 million gift that supports the extensive Research and Academic Program at the Clark, as well as the Manton Gallery and the planned Manton Study Center for Works on Paper. In addition, over 200 British paintings, oil sketches, watercolors, and other works on paper by J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, and Thomas Gainsborough collected by Sir Edwin A.G. Manton were given to the Institute by the foundation. Clarke will oversee the planning and programming of the Study Center as well as caring for the Clark’s holdings of over 5,000 works on paper while planning for its growth. The Clark’s collection is rich and varied, including masterpieces by Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Bonnard, Stieglitz, Rembrandt, Lartigue, Whistler, and many other great artists. Acquisitions over the last few years have included a number of important nineteenth-century photographs; thirty Italian, Dutch, Flemish, and French drawings from the Steiner Collection; and a suite of sixteen drawings by the great seventeenth-century French landscape artist Claude Lorrain. In 2008, a copy of J.M.W. Turner’s nineteenth-century Liber Studiorum was purchased by the Manton Foundation, adding to their already generous gifts.

The Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. In addition to its extraordinary collections, the Clark organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship and enhance the public’s understanding of art. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

In June 2008, the Clark opened Stone Hill Center, the first phase of its expansion and campus enhancement project. Designed by Tadao Ando, the 32,000-square-foot, wood-and-glass building houses two galleries, a meeting and studio art classroom, an outdoor café, and the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. The second phase of the expansion includes the creation of another stand-alone building by Ando that will house exhibition galleries, visitor services, and education and conference spaces. Scheduled for completion in 2013, Phase II also encompasses the upgrade and internal expansion of the Clark’s original 1955 building and the Manton Research Center by Annabelle Selldorf.


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