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“Images of Architecture: Before and After” Lecture October 25

For Immediate Release

October 14, 2009

The representation of buildings in paintings and the impact of that tradition on the new medium of photography in the nineteenth century will be the focus of Ralph Lieberman’s lecture “Images of Architecture: Before Photography and After” on Sunday, October 25, at 3 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Lieberman is an art historian and a photographer of architecture and sculpture, and guest curator of Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth Century Photographs of Rome and its Environs on view at the Clark. Admission to the lecture is free.

Lieberman spent many years living and working in Venice, first on a Fulbright grant, and then for several years on fellowships from the Kress Foundation, New York University, and the Committee for the Rescue of Italian Art, which was founded after the 1966 floods in Florence and Venice. His Renaissance Architecture in Venice, entirely illustrated with his own photographs, appeared in 1982. He has published on several aspects of Renaissance art in both Venice and Florence, particularly Michelangelo, as well as on the Crystal Palace, Louis Kahn drawings, and the relationship between photography and art history.

Since 1983 he has lived in the Berkshires, dividing his time between teaching and photography. He taught art history and architecture at many places, including Williams College and the Rhode Island School of Design. His art-historical photographs are in study collections at Harvard, the National Gallery in Washington, the Frick Collection, the Clark, and the Getty Museum, as well as the major art-history libraries in Rome, Florence, Venice, and Munich.

Technical innovations, artistic daring, and shifting socio-political circumstances led to a dramatic change in the photography of Rome in the late nineteenth century. Photographers of the Eternal City began to capture everyday scenes alongside ancient ruins, Baroque churches, and backstreets on the verge of being transformed by industrialization. Through the 100 images in Steps off the Beaten Path viewers today can step into a Rome that was about to step out of the pre-industrial age. The exhibition is on view at the Clark through January 3, 2010.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). 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 clarkart.edu.


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