The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Presents Pissarro’s People, a Free Lecture by Michael Cassin of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2011
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Michael Cassin, Director, Center for Education in the Visual Arts at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will present a free lecture on the Clark's major summer exhibition Pissarro's People on Thursday, July 7 at 7:00 pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit mahaiwe.org or call 413 528 0100. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.
In this special lecture, Cassin will introduce the people in Pissarro’s paintings. Though Pissarro is best known as a landscape painter, he had a lifelong interest in the human figure. From his earliest years in the Caribbean and Venezuela until his death in Paris in 1903, Pissarro drew, painted, and made prints featuring human subjects from many walks of life. He portrayed his friends and growing family, depicted domestic servants and farm workers, and made genre scenes set in the fields and marketplaces of rural France.
Cassin will also discuss Pissarro’s social vision, which was tied to his radical political beliefs and expressed in his art. As a committed anarchist, Pissarro imagined a utopian future society of small communities bound by shared work and social integration. Pissarro’s People explores the painter’s humanism in all its aspects by bringing together the figure paintings, drawings, and prints that he made over the full course of his career. Cassin will expand on this topic to explore Pissarro’s belief in non-hierarchical social structures, with rural markets as an example of how they work in practice. He will also examine Pissarro’s moving late self-portraits, including their connection to anti-Semitism in post-Dreyfus France.
At the end of his talk, Cassin will introduce the Clark’s two other summer exhibitions, El Anatsui and Spaces: Photographs by Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth. From June 12 through October 16, visitors will encounter the monumental sculptures of acclaimed artist El Anatsui in the Clark’s Stone Hill Center. From June 12 through September 5, Spaces: Photographs by Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth will be on view in the Clark’s original 1955 museum building. The large-scale photographs featured in this exhibition offer distinct but connected perspectives on the ways individuals interact with the spaces they inhabit.
The Clark presents a new exploration of Impressionist master Camille Pissarro this summer in Pissarro’s People. Bringing together paintings from collections around the world, the exhibition challenges our understanding of the father of Impressionism by focusing on Pissarro's engagement with the human figure in a highly personal and poignant exploration of his humanism. Pissarro’s People is on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, from June 12 to October 2. This exhibition was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is 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.
July 7: Michael Cassin, Director, Center for Education in the Visual Arts at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will present a free lecture on the Clark's major summer exhibition Pissarro's People on Thursday, July 7 at 7:00 pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit mahaiwe.org or call 413 528 0100. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.