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Kimbell Art Museum opens The Age of Impressionism. Great French Paintings from the Clark

The Kimbell Art Museum presents The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark, an exhibition on view March 11–June 17, 2012.

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Geese in the Brook, 1874, Oil on canvas, 73.7 x 60 cm. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA.

The Kimbell Art Museum is the sole American venue for this first-ever international touring exhibition of the renowned Impressionist collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The 73 paintings in the exhibition include 21 Renoirs and six Monets, along with works by Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other prominent French painters of the period. Among them are some of the most familiar masterpieces of the Impressionist era.

The Age of Impressionism showcases more than seventy great works of art through the personality and taste of the two remarkable collectors who founded the Clark Art Institute—Sterling Clark, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, and his wife, Francine, a Frenchwoman who had been an actress at the Comédie Française, in Paris. Together, they assembled for their homes in Paris and New York one of the finest collections of paintings, sculpture, and drawings formed in the early twentieth century. Although the French Impressionists were the heart of the collection, the Clarks ranged widely in their tastes—paintings by the Old Masters found favor, as well as works by the modern Americans John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. The couple founded the Clark Art Institute as a showcase for the collection in 1955. Although the institute’s holdings have expanded greatly since then, notably through the addition of a growing collection of early photography, its scope and character continue to represent the interests of the founders. The Clark is now both a major art museum and a leading international center for research and scholarship. It offers an international fellowship program and presents public programs, colloquia, symposia, and conferences in the U.S. and abroad. –

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