SHAC TRAVELS TO : The Clark in Williamstown, MA
Daryl and I just returned from twelve days enjoying art exhibits and historical attractions in the Hudson River Valley. Kristina Aronson will bring you her takes on recent art trekking in Washington DC. SHAC’s blog, newly titled SHAC CONNECTIONS, has expanded to cover more stories and news. SHAC subscribers are also encouraged to send their own story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line should read: Blog Content.
Affectionately known as The Clark, both a museum and research center, this vast property nestled in The Berkshires includes public art, academic programs, a library and serves as a leading international center for research. Just inside the door, my years of anticipating this visit met with immediate satisfaction found in the brilliant sculpture exhibit created by mid-century French artists, husband and wife Claude Lalanne and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. I discovered that they always exhibit together but create as individuals whose imagination and technical expertise have brought inspiration to their shared beliefs that human, animal and vegetal worlds share kinship. Their clean designs guided me to recognizable shapes and classical forms in synch, some with hidden openings that provide function as well as purpose to their works.
Then, looking out the window framing a Lalanne sculpture, my thoughts morphed to a museum I had visited in Tokyo years ago with the Penland School. Tadao Ando was invited to plan and design two complementary buildings on The Clark campus: Lunder Center at Stone Hill which opened in 2008, and the Clark Center, which opened in 2014. As I inspected from the outside in, there were Ando’s signature details, Zen minimalism wrapped in his trademark surface, a domino-like block effect, both an asset to the building design and a “mark” of his brilliance. Memories lingered of Japan and integrated with the contemporary and Impressionist collections at The Clark.
Stimulated to explore further, Daryl and I traveled out on the Sculpture Trail to embrace the far views looking back over Williamstown and The Clark’s many venues. Walking and sharing our enthusiasm, we came upon sculptures uniquely situated as if we had found them by surprise. This day fulfilled all I had expected and more, a long-awaited visit that has inspired future visits for new exhibits that complement their vast holdings rich in French Impressionist works. Fall or anytime is magical in The Berkshires.
Plan a visit or learn more about The Clark at: