The Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA is considered one of the country’s foremost art museums. The stunning collection includes paintings, sculpture, decorative art, and works on paper from around the world and ranging from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.
Though nearly an hour’s drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, the Clark Art Institute remains a worthy destination for fans of fine art. Few museums in the country can rival The Clark’s collection, which includes more than 6,000 works from some of the most important and celebrated artists in history. Dürer, Rodin, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Homer, Pissarro, Cassatt, Millet, Inness, and Singer Sargent, to name but a few.
The Clark collection spans from the fifteenth century to the early twentieth century and includes a collection of more than 1,000 European and American photographs from the 1840s through the 1910s. This collection includes important works by Eugène Atget, Julia Margaret Cameron, Gustave Le Gray, Nadar, Alfred Stieglitz, and many others.
The Clark Art Institute was founded by Robert Sterling and Francine Clark. Robert Sterling Clark (1877-1956) was a soldier, entrepreneur, explorer, and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. He and Francine began collecting fine art in the early 1900’s. By the 1940’s, they were looking for a safe place to both store and exhibit their collection.
Where better than the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts? The Clark opened its doors in Williamstown in 1955.
Visiting the Clark
The Clark, itself, is a work of art.
The 140 acre campus includes both expansive natural vistas and lovely architectural features. One favorite is the three-tiered, one-acre reflecting pool. Here visitors can picnic or just relax and enjoy their elegant surroundings. The campus is also open for hiking and cross-country skiing, in season.
The Clark also presents a number of special events throughout the year. Gallery talks, educational programs, member events, performances, and more. Be sure to check out the institute event calendar when planning your trip!
Hungry? Visit the institute’s Café 7 for an authentic farm-to-table experience of soups, sandwiches, and salads made with locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms. Located on the lower level of the Clark Center, with both indoor and outdoor seating. 10am to 4pm.
The Clark Art Institute
225 South St., Williamstown, MA
Consider stopping at some of the many other Berkshires attractions along the way and make a day-trip of it. We’d be more than happy to help your itinerary. Just let us know what your interests are! Book your stay at Applegate Inn today!