History of the Clark

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is one of the foremost art museums and research centers in the country. Founded by the American collector and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune Robert Sterling Clark and his wife Francine, the museum opened to the public in 1955. Assembled by the Clarks and since expanded, the collection has noted holdings of paintings, sculpture, decorative art, and works on paper from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. The fifty-eight drawings and prints selected for this exhibition represent one of the Clark Art Institute’s greatest strengths — French art of the second half of the nineteenth century. These works illustrate the diverse graphic achievements of the Impressionists and their immediate predecessors and followers. Groups of works by Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Toulouse  Lautrec demonstrate the mastery and invention that characterize each of these artists’ oeuvres. Sheets by Daumier, Millet, Pissarro, Morisot, Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir, Cézanne, and others represent outstanding contributions to the flourishing arts of drawing and printmaking in this fifty-year period.  

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