Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures to Open with Gala Reception June 10

For Immediate Release

June 02, 2000

The public is invited to celebrate the opening of Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930 and kick off the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's summer season at a gala reception on Saturday, June 10, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

The evening's festivities include wine, hors d'oeuvres, and entertainment in an atmosphere reminiscent of the Near-Eastern world reflected in the exhibition. Pianist Laurence Wallach and the trio of Susan Kurian, flute, Carol Hutter, violinist, and Robert Phelps, guitar, will perform American music of the period ranging from classical to ragtime. Tickets are $35 ($25 for members); reservations are required. To reserve, call 413-458-2303, extension 403.

Attendees will get the first look at the exhibition, which opens to the public on Sunday, June 11. Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures traces America's fascination with an imagined, exotic Middle East. Beginning with paintings by Frederic Edwin Church and John Singer Sargent and extending to its widespread dissemination in popular culture, including films such as Rudolph Valentino's The Sheik, over one hundred objects illustrate the associations conjured up by the Holy Land, Egypt, and North Africa in the popular imagination of turn of the century America. Organized by the Clark Art Institute, Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures will be on view at the Clark through September 4, then travel to the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, October 3, 2000, to December 10, 2000, and to the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, February 3, 2001 to April 22, 2001.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit

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