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Daniel Gade to Speak about Maple Sugar Making March 14

For Immediate Release

March 04, 2004

Daniel Gade, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, will speak at the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, March 14, at 2 p.m. His topic will be "Making the Sugar: Changes in New England Sugaring in the 19th Century." The talk is offered in connection with the current exhibition Sugaring Off: The Maple Sugar Paintings of Eastman Johnson. Admission is free.

Gade is an expert in cultural-historical geography and cultural ecology, and has written numerous articles and books on the subject. His research has taken him to the Andes in South America, France, Spain, and Madagascar, and North America, particularly New England and Quebec. He has studied the cultural history of maple sugaring for 35 years, reconstructing its past and present importance, changes in technology, and its role in economy and culture.

Sugaring Off: The Maple Sugar Paintings of Eastman Johnson reunites a series of paintings by Eastman Johnson representing maple-sugar-making traditions in New England. Known in his day as "the American Rembrandt," Johnson (1824-1906) is one of the most important American painters of the 19th century. At the time of the Civil War, Johnson created a series of oil sketches depicting the charm of Yankee life culminating in large oil sketches of the "sugaring off," a party at which townspeople and farmers would gather around bubbling sap kettles for a feast. Fifteen of the best of these works are featured in the exhibition, along with a video about maple sugar making past and present. Sugaring Off is on view at the Clark through April 18 and will later travel to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through June 26. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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