Columbia Professor to Speak on Degas' Harlequin Pastels May 15

For Immediate Release

May 04, 2004

Theodore Reff, professor emeritus at Columbia University, will speak at the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, May 15, at 3 p.m. His topic will be "Degas and His Harlequin Pastels: Conflict, Intrigue, and Romance." The talk will complement a special installation of works on paper from the permanent collection, Degas Portraits and Self-Portraits, which opens May 14. Admission is free.

Reff, who holds a Ph.D from Harvard University, specializes in European painting and sculpture from about 1840 to 1940. His numerous publications include books on Cezanne and Manet, as well as The Notebooks of Edgar Degas and Degas, The Artist's Mind.

Degas Portraits and Self-Portraits features twelve works from the Clark collection. Self-portraits by Degas include an 1857 etching and the photograph Jules Taschereau, Edgar Degas, and Jacques-Emile Blanche (1895), which was acquired by the Clark in 2002 and is being shown here for the first time. Degas' portraits of other sitters include the famous Mary Cassatt at the Louvre and a portrait of Manet. The installation also features portraits of Degas by Maurice Denis and Marcellin G. Desboutin.
In June, the Clark will feature another special program about Degas for members. Richard Kendall and Jill deVonyar, featured in the Peabody-award winning "Degas and the Dance," an episode of PBS's Great Performances, will discuss their participation in the program following a special screening. The members' program will take place Sunday, June 13, at 3 p.m. For membership information, call 413-458-0425.

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

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