Boston College Professor Explores the Rich History of Paper during "The Paper Trail" March 5 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

February 15, 2006

Jonathan Bloom, of Boston College, will present an illustrated lecture on the history of paper titled “The Paper Trail” on Sunday, March 5 at 2 pm.  This lecture, celebrating the exhibition Paper Trails: 100 Great Drawings, Prints, and Photographs from the Clark, is free.

The exhibition Paper Trails celebrates great works on paper in the Clark collection, but how often does one looked beyond the work of art to consider the humble medium on which these works were made?  What exactly is paper?  Where did it come from?  How has it been used?  In this lecture, Bloom explores the history of paper from its origins in China over 2,000 years ago, across the Islamic lands to Europe and the Americas.  As paper traveled the globe, it has transformed not only the way people read and write, but also the ways in which people think and make art.  

Bloom is the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professor of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and author of Paper Before Print:  The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (2001) as well as dozens of articles and books on all aspects of Islamic art.

Starting with Adam and Eve, Albrecht Dürer’s 1504 engraving, Paper Trails: 100 Great Drawings, Prints, and Photographs winds its way through 500 years of the graphic arts, connecting an Atget photograph of Versailles dating from the 1920s, a pen and ink drawing of an Old Testament scene by Rembrandt, Pablo Picasso’s 1904 etching The Frugal Repast, and Edvard Munch’s 1895 hand-colored lithograph Madonna to end where it began, with Dürer’s Adam and Eve, encompassing 100 works along the way.  Relationships linking individual works will include subject matter, medium, provenance, and personal associations between artists.  Viewers will be encouraged to consider the works on several different levels.

With an impressive holding of over 5,000 works on paper, the Clark’s collection is rich and varied, including masterpieces by Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Bonnard, Stieglitz, Rembrandt, Lartigue, Whistler, and many other great artists. Paper Trails draws from the strength and depth of the collection and offers a rare viewing of these works, which because of their light-sensitive nature, are seldom on view.  The exhibition opens Sunday, February 19 and closes Sunday, April 30.

Paper Trails: 100 Great Drawings, Prints, and Photographs from the Clark is supported by Crane & Co.

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



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