On June 24 the Clark's Research and Academic Program Presents a Public Conversation on A Short History Of Contemporary Art

For Immediate Release

June 08, 2006

“A Short History of Contemporary Art,” a colloquium bringing together leading scholars of contemporary art, including Richard Meyer, David Joselit, Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster, and Thomas Crow, will be held over the last weekend in June at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. A conversation between these scholars will be open to the public on Saturday, June 24 at 5:30 pm in the penthouse boardroom of the Clark. This conversation will give the academic public the opportunity to listen to the reflections of the group and participate in a question and answer session. Admission is free; seating is limited. Refreshments will be served.

This group of distinguished historians, critics and writers on contemporary art will discuss the problems and pleasures of researching and writing about contemporary art. With the increased interest in contemporary art among graduate students in art history, it is important to ask key questions - how can there be a history of an art that is still evolving? How does one work with living artists and maintain necessary critical and scholarly distance? How does training in the understanding of older art forms help or hinder those who work on contemporary art? How does one study art forms that might be ephemeral, or leave no trace or archive? What is the difference between a historian of contemporary art and an art critic?

These and other questions will be at the heart of the debate and discussion, which includes distinguished senior figures in the field as well as those who are reshaping the study of contemporary art, including Thomas Crow, director of the Getty Research Institute; Hal Foster, professor at Princeton University; Yve-Alain Bois, director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton; Pamela Lee, associate professor at Stanford University; Mignon Nixon, lecturer at the Courtauld Institute; Darby English, assistant professor at the University of Chicago; Ann Gibson, professor at Delaware University; and Julia Bryan-Wilson, associate professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Michael Lobel, associate professor of art history at the State University of New York at Purchase is the convener of the colloquium, along with Richard Meyer, associate professor of art history at the University of Southern California.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism. The institute is one of only a few art museums in the U.S. that is also a major research and academic center, with an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of directors of art museums, curators, and scholars.

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 June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.


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