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New York Times Critic Michael Kimmelman Among the Speakers at Clark Symposium September 23

For Immediate Release

September 19, 2000

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, (September 15, 2000) – Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times, is among the nine scholars scheduled to speak at the Clark Symposium "Institutionalizing the Aesthetic: Museum Practices and Museum Personalities between the Two World Wars," on Saturday, September 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Tickets are $25 ($20 for members and students). To order tickets, call the Events Office at 413-458-2303, extension 324.

"Institutionalizing the Aesthetic" will address the changes in American art museums in the decades between the two World Wars, changes that were fundamental to the establishment of twentieth-century museum standards. These standards are now being readdressed by museums throughout the world, and the speakers will explore how this history shapes today's museums as they attract unprecedented numbers of people.

The symposium will begin with coffee at 8:30 a.m. and opening remarks by Michael Conforti, director of the Clark Art Institute, at 9:00 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., Carol Duncan, professor of art history at Ramapo College, will give the talk "John Cotton Dana, Newark, and a Museum for the Future." At 10:00 a.m., Andrew McClellan, professor of art history at Tufts University, will speak on "Benjamin Gilman and Museum Aesthetics Between the Wars." At 11:00 a.m., independent scholar Sally Duncan will present "Apostles of the Object: Paul Sachs and the Museum Course at Harvard." At 11:30 a.m., Neil Harris, professor of history at the University of Chicago, will give the talk "Institutionalizing the Museum Audience in the 1920s." Harris co- organized "Institutionalizing the Aesthetic" with Michael Conforti. Following a lunch break, Evelyn Hankins of the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, will give the talk "Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Juliana Force, and their ‘Very Interesting Scheme'" at 2:00 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., Richard Brettell, professor of arts and humanities at the University of Texas, Dallas, will speak on "The Private Institutionalization of Modern Art in America: The Case of Albert Barnes and Duncan Phillips." At 3:30 p.m., Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times, will give the talk "The Founding of the Museum of Modern Art." The final speaker of the day will be independent scholar and author Philip Kopper, who will present "Portrait of the Patron (with Surrogates): Andrew Mellon and the Creation of the National Gallery of Art" at 4:00 p.m. A group discussion at 4:30 p.m. will be followed by a reception.

"Institutionalizing the Aesthetic" is made possible in part through the generous support of The Parnassus Foundation.

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 www.clarkart.edu.

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