Sight and Smell, photo courtesy of The Clark Art Institue
Summer in the Berkshires is always full of rich cultural offerings, and this summer is no exception. Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado opens at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown on June 11. The exhibition brings twenty-eight exceptional works from Spain’s famed Museo Nacional del Prado to the Clark in an exclusive exhibition of Old Master paintings of the nude. Twenty-four of these works have never before been shown in the United States, making Williamstown a “MUST SEE” destination for art and history lovers this summer. The exhibition, on view through October 10, 2016, examines 16th and 17th-century paintings of the nude at the Spanish court, explores the histories of these works and their display in the Spanish Royal Collections, and reconsiders the significant role of the nude in European art.
The Prado’s collection of Old Master paintings is widely recognized as one of the most important in the world. The works presented in Splendor, Myth, and Vision were selected from the Prado’s unparalleled holdings and include paintings like Titian’s famed Venus with an Organist and Cupid, Peter Paul Rubens’s Rape of Europa and Fortuna, Jacopo Tintoretto’s Susannah and the Elders, and Diego Velázquez’s famed portrait of Philip IV.
Susannah and the Elders, photo courtesy of The Clark Art Institue
Also on view in a special exhibition at the Clark’s Lunder Center is Sensing Place: Reflecting on Stone Hill. This exhibit provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the enduring value of place by exploring Stone Hill, a prominent geological formation at the heart of the Clark’s campus. In the galleries and out on the Clark’s walking trails, the exhibition immerses visitors in the rich natural and cultural history of Stone Hill and examines broader concepts of place through objects linked to Stone Hill. Artists, writers, philosophers, scientists, and naturalists familiar with the richness of this special place lend knowledge and personal experience to the exhibition.
The Clark’s permanent collection and the grandeur of its award-winning landscape round out the exceptional experience in store for visitors. The Institute’s noted French paintings collection includes masterpieces by Impressionist painters including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro, complemented by noted holdings of works by Old Master and Renaissance artists and works by American painters including John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and George Inness.
Lunches on the Clark’s terraces and in its cafes have been highlighted by Zagat as one of the key “reasons to drive to the Berkshires,” thanks to the innovative cuisine of STARR Catering’s Executive Chef Dan Hardy. In honor of the Spanish theme of this summer’s exhibition, STARR’s Friday afternoon Tapas on the Terrace provides the perfect start to any weekend. There are endless opportunities to explore the 140-acre campus and enjoy the beauty of the Clark’s reflecting pool, trails, and woodland areas. Throughout the summer, the Clark hosts a rich program of events and activities including lectures, performances, and concerts. Check clarkart.edu for details.