Extraordinary public interest in its two summer exhibitions, Van Gogh and Nature and Whistlers Mother: Grey, Black, and White resulted in record-breaking attendance for the Clark Art Institute
this summer. Attendance during the ninety-day run of the Van Gogh and Nature exhibition reached 170,000 visitors, making it the best-attended special exhibition in the Clarks history.
The Clark estimates that the exhibition created an additional economic impact in Berkshire County of approximately $14.8 million over that of a typical summer season. This figure does not include retail or food service sales on the Clarks own campus, both of which marked similarly significant increases over previous years.
This has been an exceptional summer for the Clark and for the Berkshires, said Frank Oakley, interim director of the Institute. We thank our neighbors, the town of Williamstown, our own staff, and the Berkshires business community for providing the support and assistance needed to serve such a large audience. Its wonderful to know that so many of our local businesses benefited from the great interest shown in the Clarks programs.
Attendance for Van Gogh and Nature, which featured forty-nine works by the Dutch painter, surpassed the exhibition, Impression: Painting Quickly in France which drew some 130,000 visitors in 2001. Of those who attended the Van Gogh exhibition, 80,000 visitors received complimentary admission through membership, free family events, library pass programs, guest passes, or through the Clarks year-round policy of providing free admission for all students and children.