Although the collections have expanded greatly since the opening of the Clark in 1955, their scope and character continue to represent the taste and interests of Sterling and Francine Clark. Thus the collections focus almost exclusively on European and American painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative art from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. The Institute's greatest strengths lie in nineteenth-century European and American painting, especially the French Impressionists; English silver; master drawings and prints; and, in recent years, the Institute's growing collection of early photography.
In March 2011, a number of nineteenth-century French paintings from the Clark's noted collection began a three-year international tour. View a listing of the works that are currently on tour. Click here for more information about the Clark’s international outreach program. While these paintings are on exhibition elsewhere, many of the Clark's other beloved works, including exceptional works by Renoir, Homer, and Sargent continue to delight visitors. A rigorous program of special exhibitions further complements the Clark's esteemed permanent collection.