Public Lecture Series Opens at the Clark with "Artful Dining"

For Immediate Release

January 08, 2013

Williamstown, MA—A new four-part lecture series, “A Feast for the Eyes: Food, Porcelain, Silver, and Luxury Fabrics” opens at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, January 20 at 3 pm. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College, will present the lecture “Artful Dining: The Orchestration of the Meal.”

Goldstein will explore feasts, from the ribald gatherings of the European Middle Ages through the opulent banquets of the Renaissance and on to the excesses of America’s Gilded Age. Vivid illustrations will highlight the evolution of place settings and table decorations, as well as the progression of courses and novel foods.

Goldstein is the Willcox and Harriet Adsit Professor of Russian at Williams College and founding editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She is also the author of four cookbooks: A Taste of Russia (nominated for a Tastemaker Award), The Georgian Feast (winner of the 1994 IACP Julia Child Award for Cookbook of the Year), The Winter Vegetarian, and Baking Boot Camp at the CIA (IACP award finalist). Goldstein has consulted for the Council of Europe as part of an international group exploring ways in which food can be used to promote tolerance and diversity.

"A Feast for the Eyes: Food, Porcelain, Silver, and Luxury Fabrics" is a four-part lecture series that celebrates sumptuously decorative, yet functional, works of art dating from the Middle Ages to today. Specialist lecturers will trace the evolution of the elaborately set table from Medieval Europe to the Gilded Age in New York; explore our understanding of European and American silver from the past, and what certain objects tell us; place Meissen porcelain of the eighteenth century in its political context; and discuss the art of upholstering with Fortuny fabrics today. Each talk will highlight the luxury and opulence of decorative art objects and explore their intriguing social contexts.

The Clark’s extensive collection of decorative pieces, including silver and porcelain, are showcased in the Remix galleries as part of the ClarkNOW effort. The “Feast for the Eyes” series is a direct result of the museum’s commitment to looking at decorative arts in new ways.

About the Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history. The Clark receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.

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Press contact:

Amanda Powers<br>apowers@clarkart.edu<br>413 458 0471

Calendar Listing
Public Lecture: “Artful Dining: The Orchestration of the Meal”

January 20, 2013<br>3 pm

A new four-part lecture series, “A Feast for the Eyes: Food, Porcelain, Silver, and Luxury Fabrics” opens at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, January 20 at 3 pm. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College, will present the lecture “Artful Dining: The Orchestration of the Meal.” Goldstein will explore feasts, from the ribald gatherings of the European Middle Ages through the opulent banquets of the Renaissance and on to the excesses of America’s Gilded Age.

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