Berkshires – Sept, 2014 – Clark Art Institute

Spent a lovely weekend in the Berkshires – started in Williamstown, to visit the Clark Art Institute. Amazing collection, much of it acquired when Sterling & Francine Clark lived in Paris around 1910. He was an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune – and it seems like he used most of it to support Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas, and Rodin. The Impressionists are housed in the Greek Revival style old building.

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Renoir

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Renoir

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Degas

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4 Degas

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Renoir

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Renoir

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Rodin’s Thinker, Monet landscape

The Clark recently re-opened after a huge renovation, addition project. The ultra modern design uses narrow hallways, submerges much of the new building below ground, and uses huge blank walls of concrete and pink granite – some of those walls may have a structural purpose, but their main effect is to hide the views of the Berkshire hills. What a waste of a gorgeous setting. There is a lovely series of 3 reflecting pools, connected by little granite structured waterfalls – but other than that, the design didn’t do it for me.

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The new building had some great exhibits, though – Radical Words (from the Magna Carta to the Constitution), with an original Magna Carta. Make It New – a collection of Modern Art showing how Jackson Pollack’s splatter paintings laid the foundation for the modern exploration of space, texture, shape, and color.

Up on the hill, hidden from view, is another building – with tons of solid blank walls – housing a sculpture exhibit of painted metal works Circles by David Smith.

 

Click on any photo to enlarge.

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