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Clark Art Institute to Launch First International Tour of Masterpieces from the Collection
Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Snake Charmer, c. 1879. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA.- Continuing its commitment to global outreach and cultural exchange, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will tour masterpieces from its collection of nineteenth-century European paintings to leading museums around the world beginning this spring.

The Clark’s first-ever international tour of masterpieces from its collection will include many of the greatest works from its extraordinary holdings of French Impressionism and European paintings. The exhibition features 73 paintings, including works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Camille Pissarro, as well as by Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme.

“As we embark on this exciting three-year tour, the Clark is delighted to have this unprecedented opportunity to share some of its best-known and most beloved works with a broader global audience,” said Director Michael Conforti. “It is our hope that this exhibition of the best of the Clark’s famous nineteenth century painting collection will encourage the cross-cultural exchange of new ideas and the discovery of common ground, paving the way to greater mutual understanding and cooperation through the arts.”

The tour will launch in Milan, on March 2 at the Palazzo Reale, and remain open through June 19. The works will then move to the Musée des impressionnismes in Giverny, France, where they will be on view from July 13 through October 31; followed by an exhibition at CaixaForum in Barcelona from November 18 through February 12, 2012. Venues in 2012 will include the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas from March 4 to June 17, 2012; the Royal Academy of Arts in London from July 7 to September 23, 2012; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in Canada from October 8, 2012 to January 20, 2013. In 2013, the exhibition will move on to venues in Japan and China.

The timing of the international tour coincides with the Clark’s preparations to launch the next phase of its campus expansion program and presents an ideal opportunity to share these works with a worldwide audience.

The Barcelona venue will mark the third Clark exhibition in Spain in a year. In October 2010, the critically acclaimed Picasso davant Degas opened at the Museu Picasso, Barcelona after its successful presentation at the Clark in the summer of 2010. The exhibition was the result of a five-year collaboration between the two museums. At the same time, the Clark and the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid collaborated on Spain’s first monographic presentation of works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Pasión por Renoir: la colección del Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. In 2014, the Prado-Clark cultural exchange continues when an exhibition focused on nudes from the Prado’s collection of masterworks opens in Williamstown.

On January 26, the Clark’s international tour was officially announced at a press conference and panel discussion in Madrid, where the Renoir exhibition remains on view at the Prado through February 13, 2011. The panel included dignitaries and museum leaders from several of the participating institutions such as: Richard Rand, Senior Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Tom Loughman, Assistant Deputy Director, from the Clark; Domenico Piraina, Director of the Palazzo Reale, Diego Candil, Director of the Musée des impressionnismes; Isabel Salgado, Cultural Subdirector of "la Caixa" Foundation; and Margaret Rennolds Chace, Associate Publisher, Skira Rizzoli, among others.

A catalogue to accompany the exhibition, Great French Paintings from the Clark, will be published by Skira Rizzoli in spring 2011, with editions in at least five languages. The 240-page publication, available in hardcover, features 131 color illustrations accompanied by essays by James A. Ganz and Richard R. Brettell.

The tour schedule to date is

· Impressionisti. Capolavori della Collezione Clark., Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy, March 2-June 19, 2011
· La Collection Clark a Giverny, de Manet a Renoir, Musée des impressionnismes, Giverny, France, July 13-October 31, 2011

· Maestros franceses de la Colección Clark. De las escuela de Barbizon al impresionismo, CaixaForum Barcelona, Spain, November 18, 2011-February 12, 2012

· The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, March 4-June 17, 2012

· Great French Paintings from the Clark, Royal Academy of Arts, London, July 7 - September 23, 2012

· A History of Impressionism. Great French Paintings from the Clark, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada, October 8, 2012 - January 20, 2013

· Japan and China venues to be announced





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