The Berkshires: The Clark Art Institute

The Berkshires: The Clark Art Institute

Edited & Published by Dina Reis, CEO & editor-in-chief of ReisMag.com

This is an easy piece to write. WHEN IN THE BERKSHIRES, DO NOT MISS THE CLARK ART INSTITUTE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

There, I’ve said it. Next story.

The Clark is proof that all great art collections are not limited to major world cities. Sterling and Francine Clark began their museum in 1955, after three years of construction and decades of collecting. They kept it out of a major city as there was a great concern in the fifties for bombs being dropped on big cities. In 2014 the museum of reconceived by Selldorf Architects which added more than 2,200 square feet of gallery space. The redesign of the 140-acre grounds by Reed Hilderbrand included a three-tiered reflecting pool and upgrade and expansion of walking trails. New buildings were designed by architect Tadao Ando.

We arrived when the museum opened at 10 am and could have sat outside gazing at the pool for hours. We didn’t however, there was much art for us to stare at. Which we did for hours.

On entering the building, you are greeted by the memorable Frederick Remington painting,“Dismounted: The Fourth Troopers Moving the led horses”, ca. 1890.

One can hear the horseshoes contacting the hard ground surface.

Robert Sterling Clark declared Winslow Homer (1836–1910) to be among the greatest artists of the nineteenth century. Acting on this belief, Clark bought more than two hundred of Homer’s works and eventually owned more works by Homer than by any other artist. Of special note, Homer’s West Point, Prout’s Neck, 1900. One can feel the spray of the ocean.

The Clark boasts the finest gathering of Homer’s art assembled by any individual since the artist’s death. This collection, which includes paintings, watercolors, drawing.

The Clark, like The Norman Rockwell Museum, has an extensive educational program and has wonderful one-time events. While we were there we also viewed As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings exhibited in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a stand-alone building. Mercifully for our aging legs, they had a small shuttle bus that carried us up and back.

The Clark Art Institute

225 South St

Williamstown, MA

413-458-2303

Clarkart.edu

Also, the Clark has in their collection has a statue by HILAIRE-GERMAIN-EDGAR DEGAS

FRENCH, 1834–1917.  LITTLE DANCER AGED FOURTEEN modeled 1879–81, cast 1919–21

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