NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute
This superb art museum is the most famous and worthy of Williamstown's cultural attractions.

by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange

 

 

   

The marvelous collections of the Clark Art Institute are the achievement of Robert Sterling Clark (1877-1956), a Yale engineer whose forebears had been successful in the sewing machine industry.

Clark began collecting works of art in Paris in 1912, married a French woman named Francine, and eventually housed his masterpieces in a classic white marble temple here in Williamstown (map).

The pristine original museum was greatly expanded in 1973 into new, modern exhibit space adjoining. In 2014 a new entrance, lobby, gift shop and parking lot were added.

The Clark has strong collections of paintings by the Impressionists, their academic contemporaries in France, and the mid-century Barbizon artists, including Millet, Troyon, and Corot.

Of the Americans, there are significant works by Cassatt, Homer, Remington, and Sargent.

Earlier centuries are represented by well-chosen pieces of Piero della Francesca, Memling, Gossaert, Jacob van Ruisdael, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Turner, and Goya.

There are some sculptures, including Degas' famous Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, as well as prints, drawings, and noteworthy collections of silver and porcelain.

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown MA
The original marble temple of the Clark Art Institute...

Admission used to be free, but now costs $20 for adults. The Clark Art Institute is open 10 am to 5 pm (open till 7 pm on Fridays in July and August; closed Monday, January 1, Thanksgiving Day and December 25). Here's full info on hours and admissions.

From the Visitors Center at the intersection of US 7 and MA 2 in the center of Williamstown, loop around the park and follow South Street for less than a mile (1 km) to the museum. For more info, see the museum website.

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street (map)
Williamstown MA 01267
Tel: 413-458-2303

—by Tom Brosnahan



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Clark Art Institute, Williamstown MA

The 1973 addition to the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown MA.