Van Gogh and Matisse Through the Eyes of Stephen Clark During July 16 Lecture at the Clark

For Immediate Release

July 05, 2006

Unparalleled masterpieces, passionate art collecting, sibling rivalry, and museum patronage headline the current exhibition The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The lecture series, bringing alive the characters of brothers Sterling Clark and Stephen Clark, and their accomplishments as collectors, continues on July 16 at 2 pm with Sarah Lees, associate curator of European art discussing “Stephen Clark Collects Van Gogh to Matisse.”

Stephen Clark collected a wide range of artworks, from medieval sculptures and tapestries to portraits by Pierre-Auguste Renoir to cityscapes by Edward Hopper. His collection was perhaps best known, however, for its remarkable concentration of post-Impressionist and modern European paintings. Masterpieces such as Vincent Van Gogh's The Night Café, Paul Cézanne's The Card Players, and large groups of works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso came to characterize Stephen's taste. This talk will explore the richness of his collection in this area and reveal some of the likes and dislikes that motivated him.

Sterling and Stephen assembled impressive collections of both European and American art, and although they often purchased works by the same artists, the character of their collections differed significantly. Each lecture will focus on one aspect of either Sterling or Stephen Clark’s collections. Together, the lectures provide deeper insight into the similarities and differences between the collecting interests and intentions of the brothers. Individually, the lectures showcase the masterworks purchased by these two connoisseurs.

The remaining lectures in the series include “Stephen Clark Collects Eakins to Hopper” by Brian T. Allen, the Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover MA, on August 6; and “Sterling Clark Collects Sargent to Homer” by Marc Simpson, the Clark’s curator of American Art on August 20.

Featuring over 70 paintings, The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings is the first exhibition to unite the masterpieces collected by Sterling Clark – works by Renoir, Monet, Homer and Sargent, and more – with those collected by his brother Stephen Clark, including paintings by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso. The exhibition examines the brothers’ collecting and how they helped to define the changing taste for Impressionist and Early Modern art in the first half of the 20th century. It will explore their relationship, their rivalry, and the influential but ultimately divergent roles they came to play in the arts in the United States.

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


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