“When in Rome” Lecture Explores the Age of the Popes

For Immediate Release

October 26, 2009

Examine artistic and architectural accomplishments witnessed in Rome through the grand patronage of legendary popes during the next “When in Rome” lecture on Thursday, November 5 at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The lecture series, led by Clark staff, is a complement to the fall exhibition Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and Its Environs. Registration is not required but can be made by calling 413 458 0489. Cost is $8 per class ($5 for members and free of charge for college students). Lectures are held on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.

The Eternal City endured in the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire and flourished from the Renaissance until the establishment of the Italian state in the late nineteenth century, all under the leadership of the papacy. Assistant deputy director Tom Loughman will examine the patronage of Julius II delle Rovere and Clement VII Medici (sponsors of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante) as well as Urban VIII Barberini and Innocent X Pamphilj (patrons of Bernini, Borromini, and Velazquez). He will also discuss the influence of lesser-known popes who were behind new monuments such as the Trevi Fountain and the restoration of ancient ones including the Colosseum.

The remaining lecture in the series features Rome: “The Foreign Academies” on November 12 with Richard Rand, senior curator and curator of paintings and sculpture.

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, all of which industrialization was rapidly transforming. 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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