Have a "Summer Romance in the Winter" at the Clark February 5

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2005

The Clark will celebrate the exhibition A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires with an opening party on Saturday, February 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. Inspired by the garden parties of the 19th-century Berkshire cottage owners, the party's theme is "A Summer Romance in the Winter." The festivities will include live music, dancing, and heavy hors d'oeuvres featuring Berkshire County grown foods. Partygoers will have the first look at the Inness exhibition, which features 15 Berkshire scenes by the renowned American artist. Dress is semi-formal; creative period costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $45 per person ($35 for members). Reservations are required. To order tickets, call 413-458-0524.

Chef Drew Nicastro of CulinArt has created an elegant "picnic supper" menu for the event, including country style pates and regionally crafted cheeses. A carving station will feature fresh turkey from Otis Poultry Farm and beef from Ioka Valley Farms, with assorted condiments. The complimentary wine and beer bar will feature beer from Berkshire Mountain Brewers.

Throughout the evening, the Lydia Rose Trio will play 19th-century dance music. Trio members are: Mark Bagdon, violin; Susan Polanski, clarinet; and Larry Wallach, piano.

A Walk in the Country will be on view February 6 through April 17. This exhibition is first to focus exclusively on George Inness's relationship with the Berkshires, a center of cultural and intellectual life since the 19th century. Inness , one of the most prominent American landscape artists of the 1800s, took the Berkshires as a frequent subject and enjoyed the patronage of famous "Berkshire cottage" owners such as Catharine Sedgwick, Ogden Haggerty, and Henry Ward Beecher. Drawing inspiration from the landscape, Inness idealized his Berkshire scenes to create a sense of timeless and spiritual meaning. Fifteen of Inness's Berkshire views will be featured, along with two later works by Inness from the Clark's collection.

Media for A Walk in the Country is sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

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 5p.m. Gallery admission is free through May. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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