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Free Fellows Lectures at the Clark

For Immediate Release

February 20, 2008

Thought-provoking and intriguing topics are being explored this winter and spring in free lectures by Clark Fellows at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Clark lectures are open to the public and held on selected Tuesdays at 5:30 pm.

Erika Naginski will present "Preliminary Thoughts on Piranesi and Vico" on February 26. Naginski is associate professor of architectural history in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the Clark-Centre Allemand Fellow for 2007-08. At the Clark, she will focus on the connections between antiquarianism, visionary architecture, and Enlightenment philosophies of history.

Chika Okeke-Agulu will explore “Modernism and Nationalism: The Work of Uche Okeke in the 1960s” in his lecture on March 11. Okeke-Agulu, assistant professor of art history at Pennsylvania State University, has established an international reputation as an artist, critic, curator, and activist in contemporary art and the African modernist movement. At the Clark, Okeke-Agulu will pursue his book project “Compound Consciousness: The Modern Art Movement in Nigeria, 1957–1967,” a study connecting the development of artistic modernism in Nigeria with the cultural implication of political decolonization.

On April 1 Aruna D'Souza will present “Strange Bedfellows: Félix Vallatton, Marriage, and the Dreyfus Affair.” D’Souza is assistant professor of art history and women’s studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York, where she teaches courses on late-19th- and early-20th-century European art, and contemporary art. At the Clark, she will work on her new book, Open Secrets: Intimacy Between Street and Home in Late-Nineteenth-Century Paris, which deals with the difficulties of—and new opportunities for—intimate encounters in a moment in which the distinctions between private and public were so dramatically being eroded by modern technologies, commercial practices, and urban forms.

Kobena Mercer will discuss “Romare Bearden’s Visual Modernism: Critical Dialogues in the Diaspora Imagination” on April 15. Mercer is reader in art history and diaspora studies in the department of visual culture and media at Middlesex University, and held academic positions at New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, and the California Institute for the Arts. His primary Clark project will be “Diaspora Aesthetics: Black Artists and Modernity,” a study offering a historical analysis of black artists within the United States, the Caribbean, and Britain, and an exploration of the visual aesthetics of “double-voicing” within the diasporic experience of modernity.

Rounding out the 2007-08 Fellows Lectures will be Michael Sappol with “Industrializing the Human Body: Fritz Kahn and the Visual Rhetoric of Modernity, 1922–1950” on April 29. Sappol is curator and historian in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. His areas of expertise are 19th- and 20th-century cultural history, the history of medicine (with a special focus on the history of anatomy), and film and media studies. At the Clark, Sappol will be working on “Fritz Kahn (1888–1968) and the Origins of Modernist Medical Illustration in Early and Mid-Twentieth-Century Germany and America.”

The Clark announced 18 fellows for the 2007-2008 academic year. Fellowships are awarded to national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals whose work extends and enhances the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture. The program encourages a critical commitment to research in the theory, history, and interpretation of works from all periods and genres.

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

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