The Clark Says "Bonjour!" to Summer with Opening Weekend June 26-27 (CORRECTED JUNE 25)

For Immediate Release

June 01, 2004

The Clark will celebrate the opening of the special exhibition "Bonjour! Monsieur Courbet!": The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier with an opening party the evening of Saturday, June 26, and an introductory lecture on Sunday, June 27. Reservations are now being accepted for the party, which will take place Saturday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. In addition to the opportunity to preview the exhibition, guests will enjoy live music, cocktail buffet, and complimentary wines, all presented with French-inspired flair. General admission to the party is $60 per person or $110 per couple (both include a one-year membership in the Clark). Members' admission to the party is $25 per person. Reservations are requested by June 22; call 413-458-0524.

Michel Hilaire will give the introductory lecture "A Gallery of Living Artists: Alfred Bruyas as Patron" on Sunday, June 27, at 2 p.m. Hilaire is conservateur en chef du patrimoine and director of the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France, home to the seventy paintings, drawings, and sculpture featured in the exhibition. Admission to the lecture in the Clark auditorium is free. Hilaire's talk will be followed by a booksigning with authors of the exhibition catalogue. The exhibition opens to the public at 10 a.m. on June 27; gallery admission is $10.

The Saturday evening event is hosted by the Clark and by Elizabeth Rohatyn and Françoise Cachin, co-founders of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange). The two founded FRAME while Rohatyn's husband, Felix Rohatyn, was U.S. Ambassador to France under former President Clinton and Cachin was director of the Musées de France.

Dafe Brudajo will provide the evening's entertainment. The five member band is known for their harmonies set against a backdrop of acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, saxophone, and percussion. Their repetoire includes jazz standards, new folk, and Latin and light rock originals. The group has performed at Caffe Lena's in Saratoga Springs, The Park-McCullough House in North Bennington, and throughout the region.
On the cocktail menu are French-inspired hors d'oeuvres such as duck liver paté on black bread and chicken brochette with sauce pomeroy, as well as a selection of international cheese, fruits, crudité, and other treats. In addition to the complimentary wines and sparkling water, there will be a cash bar.

On view at the Clark June 27-September 6, 2004, "Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!" features masterpieces by Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Camille Corot, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Alexandre Cabanel, and others. The show highlights some of the most influential images of 19th-century French painting, including the famous title painting by Courbet. The 40 paintings, 20 drawings, and five sculptures, many of which have rarely been seen in the United States, are all drawn from the collection of Alfred Bruyas (1821-1876). In his day, Bruyas was one of the foremost collectors of contemporary art in France. The exhibition is organized by the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, and the Clark, with the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange). This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Beginning June 27, the galleries are open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and gallery admission is $10 (members, students, and 18 and under free). For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/bruyas/.

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