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Discover “Whose Love Is It Anyway?” at the Clark November 4

For Immediate Release

October 24, 2007

Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s mysterious and evocative works of art with the theme of romantic love will be on view during Consuming Passion: Fragonard’s Allegories of Love at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute starting Sunday, October 28. During “Whose Love Is It Anyway?: Sex, Gender, and Culture in Eighteenth-Century France” on Sunday, November 4, at 2 pm, uncover why and how attitudes toward Fragonard’s works changed in the eighteenth century. Seating is limited. Refreshments will be served.

Mary Sheriff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Melissa Hyde of the University of Florida, Gainesville, will join in a conversation with the Clark's senior curator Richard Rand and associate director of Research and Academic Programs Mark Ledbury. Together they will discuss how the understanding of, and appreciation for, the work of French artist Fragonard (1732–1806) changed by new approaches to enlightenment, gender relationships in eighteenth-century France, and the themes of "love" and "passion" in the work of Fragonard and his contemporaries.

Sheriff and Hyde are distinguished feminist art historians. Sheriff is W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Art History and Department Chair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published widely on French art and culture, on women artists, and on eighteenth-century theories of creativity. Hyde is associate professor of art history at the University of Florida, Gainesville, specializing in early modern European art, with an emphasis on cultural history, gender studies, feminist theory and the history of art criticism. She has held post-doctoral fellowships from the American Association of University Women, as well as the Getty Research Institute; and more recently, she has been a fellow at the Clark.

Fragonard is best known as a painter of playful genre subjects, garden landscapes, and fantasy portraits, but in his later career he turned to the subject of romantic love. Consuming Passion: Fragonard’s Allegories of Love on view October 28, 2007 through January 21, 2008 focuses on Fragonard’s work during the 1780s and 1790s when he created a series of dramatic reflections on the subject of romantic allegories. This exhibition explores these mysteries and evocative works in a variety of forms: oil painting, drawings, prints, and illustrated books. Consuming Passion has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November 1 through May 31. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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