The Clark Art Institute’s collection includes a broad array of pieces, from European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts that range from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century – and it was begun in the early 1900’s by entrepreneur, soldier, explorer Robert Sterling Clark, and his wife, Francine.
With a fortune inherited from his grandfather, a principal in the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Clark began collecting fine art in 1911. Shortly thereafter he married Francine and the two of them grew the collection as a team. A private collection, the Clarks rarely loaned out works for exhibition but, by the 1940s with its growing turmoil, they began to worry about keeping it in New York city – wouldn’t a more rural location be less of a potential war target?
Williamstown, Massachusetts looked a promising place and it was here that the Clarks decided to settle: in 1955 the Clark Art Institute opened its doors and helped cement The Berkshires cultural reputation.
The collection at the Clark Art Institute has grown over the years, through gifts and acquisitions, and is strong with French Impressionist and Academic paintings, British oil sketches, drawings, and silver, and the work of American artists Winslow Homer, George Inness, and John Singer Sargent – but it’s not just the art that attracts visitors.
The 140 acre Clark Art Institute campus compliments its verdant outdoor vistas with distinct yet subtle architectural features, such as the three-tiered, one-acre reflecting pool with patio where visitors can picnic. Guests are also encouraged to use the Clark Art Institute’s acreage as a public park for hiking, cross-country skiing, or just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful, Berkshires scenery.
The Clark Art Institute
225 South St.
Clark Art Institute Lodging
Whatever it is that brings you to the Berkshires – art, music, business, relaxation – Applegate Inn would love to be your home away from home. Our convenient location makes exploring the Berkshires a snap – plus a stay at Applegate Inn means luxury, service, and value for you. Come see what all the fuss is about and discover a new peak in comfort at The Berkshires’ Applegate Inn.