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The Clark Receives $337,000 Grant from Mellon Foundation

For Immediate Release

February 22, 2005

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has received $337,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York, N.Y. The grant, for use over four years, will support activities to strengthen scholarship in visual studies through the Clark's Research and Academic Program.

"This generous grant from the distinguished Mellon Foundation is a great honor for our Research and Academic Program as the Fellows initiative enters its fifth year," said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. "We are gratified that the Mellon Foundation has recognized the level of research, scholarship, and vigorous debate afforded by the special environment of the Clark and the Williamstown community. These qualities have distinguished the Research and Academic Program and made it one of the most important centers for advanced research in the visual arts in the United States."

"These funds will help us to broaden and enrich the scope of our program, and to extend its global reach," said Michael Ann Holly, director of the Research and Academic Program. "With this support, we will engage new, international partners in joint programs, develop new invitational colloquia, and further engage museum professionals in our growing and dynamic program."

In addition to general program enhancement, the Mellon funds will support initiatives in three areas. The Clark will work toward greater geographic and cultural diversity by engaging an international partner in Latin America or Europe for joint programs. The Clark will develop a quartet of invitational colloquia as a model approach to collecting perspectives about the role of research and its publication. Finally, the Clark will focus on adapting Clark Fellowships to encourage greater participation from museum curators and other museum professionals. Most of the 120 Clark Fellows to date have been from academic institutions, and interaction between the academy and the museum community is one of the goals of the program.

In addition to these initiatives, the Clark supports a wide range of scholarly programs. The Clark is one of the few major institutions in the United States that serves as both a public art museum and a leading international research and academic center supported by a distinguished art library.  The Clark is further distinguished by its international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia.  Together with Williams College, the Clark jointly sponsors one of the nation's leading M.A. programs in art history.  Its Fellows and Conference programs draw university and museum professionals from around the world.

The Clark's library is one of the nation's premier resources for the study of European and American art.  Along with 200,000 printed volumes, the library's holdings also include many rare illustrated books, bound periodicals, auction sales catalogues, a large study collection of photographs and reproductions of works of art, as well as 135,000 slides.

The Clark/Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art is one of the leading masters degree programs in the world. It has produced more than 300 graduates who have taken their place as leaders in museums and the scholarly community.

Clark Fellowships are awarded to national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals to work on projects that extend and enhance the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture. Fellows appointed for the 2004-2005 academic year include Stephen Bann of the University of Bristol, David Carrier of Case Western Reserve University, Michael Clarke of the National Gallery of Scotland, and Susan Dackerman, formerly of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Clark Conferences provide an international forum for the discussion of issues raised by the study, presentation, and exploration of art.  At the next Conference, "Architecture Between Spectacle and Use," to be held in April 2005, architects, critics, and historians of art and architecture will debate and explore the relationship between architecture and society.  The proceedings of Clark Conferences are published as Clark Studies in the Visual Arts in partnership with Yale University Press.

The annual Clark/Getty Workshops explore contemporary cultural concerns and their effects on the practice of art history from a number of different points of view, meeting in Williamstown and at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. This year's topic is "Art History and the Moving Image."
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation currently makes grants in five core program areas: higher education, museums and art conservation, performing arts, conservation and the environment, and public affairs.

Gifts recently received by the Clark include a $25,000 grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, and a one of $7500 from the Graham Foundation of Chicago, in support of the 2005 Clark Conference, "Architecture Between Spectacle and Use."

For more information on research at the Clark, visit www.clarkart.edu.


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