Clark, Graduate Program, and WACC Mark 10th Anniversary Lenett Lecture April 28

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2004

Every year, a student in the Williams College/Clark Art Institute Graduate Program in the History of Art is awarded the Judith M. Lenett Fellowship. The Lenett Fellow spends part of the year working in the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC), located on the Clark's campus. Each spring, the student presents his or her conservation project in a public lecture. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Lenett Lectures. On Wednesday, April 28, at 5:00 p.m., 2004 Lenett Fellow Emy Kim will give a talk about the conservation of 1964, a large painting by Clyfford Still. The lecture takes place in the Clark Art Institute auditorium. Admission is free.

"The Lenett Fellowship exemplifies the integrated collaborative art history research that can be done here in Williamstown, where graduate students, in satisfying their academic requirements, work on original art objects, draw on the resources of the Clark's outstanding art library, and receive training in conservation at WACC," said Charles W. Haxthausen, director of the Graduate Program.

Emy Kim worked on the Clifford Still painting 1964. Measuring over 9 by 14 feet, the painting is from the collection of the Empire State Plaza, where it usually hangs in the Corning Tower Concourse. Kim, originally from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and will receive her M.A. from Williams in June. Kim said her post-graduate plans include getting married and "finding a niche in New York City."

The Lenett Fellowship was created in memory of the late Judith M. Lenett, who enrolled in the Graduate Program in 1981 with a particular interest in American art and art conservation. After her premature death from cancer in 1987, Lenett's family and friends established the endowment in her name. Recipients of the competitive fellowship must demonstrate an interest in American art and an aptitude for its care and conservation. The internship at WACC usually focuses on one object chosen by the student in consultation with the staff. The Fellow's work includes analysis of the object's physical makeup, assessment of its current condition, a proposal for its treatment, and the treatment itself. Art-historical study of the object allows the Fellow to gain a multifaceted understanding of it in the context of its maker, its culture, and its passage through time.

Operated jointly by the Clark Art Institute and Williams College, the Graduate Program in the History of Art is one of only three jointly sponsored programs in the country and one of the premier art-education programs in the world. The Clark and Williams work symbiotically, offering their professional staffs, libraries, and art collections to the students as invaluable resources. Williams faculty members and Clark curators teach in the program, which is housed at the Clark, and the Clark's extensive research facilities, such as its 200,000 volume library, support original academic work by the students.  The program, which offers a master's degree in art history, was founded in 1972 by distinguished art historian George Heard Hamilton, the second director of the Institute, who died last month. The program developed out of the two-part founding mission of the Clark: an art museum on one hand and a research and academic center on the other. Since its first class graduated in 1974, many of the program's 300-plus graduates have assumed curatorial positions and directorships at many of the nation's leading museums, including the Clark, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), the Getty Museum, the Guggenheim, The High Museum of Art, and The Williams College Museum of Art. They teach at the University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, USC, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and elsewhere.  Recently graduated students are currently in doctoral programs at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, MIT, Princeton, University of Chicago, and other esteemed universities.

The Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC), a nonprofit organization located on the campus of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, treats objects ranging from historic artifacts, antiques, and heirlooms to some of the most important paintings, watercolors, drawings, photographs, sculpture, and furniture in the country. WACC also serves a center for information on all aspects of collections care. Founded in 1977 to address the conservation and preservation needs of a small consortium of collecting institutions in the Northeast, the Center now serves more than 55 member museums and historical societies in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, as well as many individuals and corporations. WACC conservators also manage and staff the Atlanta Art Conservation Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in partnership with the High Museum of Art. A new, state-of-the-art-facility for WACC is included in the design for Clark Greylock, the planned arts, education, and conservation center on route 7 in Williamstown. In addition to galleries, public education space, and a public park, Clark Greylock will include viewing areas into the WACC facility allowing the public to see conservators at work.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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