Clark Art Institute Williamstown
The Clark Art Institute, commonly referred to as the Clark, is an art museum and research institution located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. Its collection consists of European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from the fourteenth to the early twentieth century. The Clark, along with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Williams College Museum of Art, forms a trio of art museums in the Berkshires. The institute also serves as a center for research and higher learning. It is home to various research and academic programs, which include the Fellowship Program and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. It is visited by 200,000 people a year.
The Clark Art Institute has a rich, colorful history beginning with founder Sterling Clark’s expedition to China in 1908, his introduction to the world of collecting art in Paris in 1910, and his marriage to Francine Clary in 1919. Together, Sterling and Francine began what is now a world-renowned collection of American and European art, including prints and drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, and paintings—most notably French Impressionist masterworks by artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Camille Pissarro. They also committed to the pivotal concept of serving as not only an art museum, but also a research and academic center. The Clark’s Research and Academic Program is now considered one of the finest of its kind, awarding prestigious fellowships to established art historians and boasting a library of more than 230,000 volumes.
Initially, the Clarks concentrated on Italian, Dutch, and Flemish Old Master paintings. Over time, their tastes shifted towards artists like John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. After 1920, the Clarks focused mainly on the art of 19th-century France — specifically works of Impressionism and the Barbizon School. Over the next 35 years, the Clarks would add to their private collection, increasing their holdings of paintings, porcelain, silver, prints, and drawings from the early fourteenth to the early twentieth century.
Since its establishment in 1955, the Clark Art Institute has continued to grow its collection through acquisitions, gifts, and bequests. In 2007, the Manton Foundation donated the collection of its founders, Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, to the museum. The Manton Collection of British Art includes more than 200 works by British artists like J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, and John Constable. In 2013, Frank and Katherine Martucci gave the museum eight George Inness landscapes, supplementing his two works already in the collection.
225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267 USA
Clark Art Institute | paintings in chronological order
1876 – 1900