The Clark Art Institute reflecting pool and galleriesThe Berkshires are well known for their art and culture but few area museums fully justify this reputation like The Clark Art Institute. The Clark is one of the world’s most beloved and respected art museums, with a collection of more than 6,000 pieces spanning from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.

Any self-respecting art or history fan who finds themselves in the Berkshires owes it to themselves to visit The Clark. The 140 acre campus, surrounded by gorgeous forest and mountain vistas, is a jewel unto itself – never mind the art!

Visitors often spend as much time soaking up the Institute’s architecture and landscaping as they do its collections. This is particularly true of the stunning, one-acre, three tiered reflecting pool. The campus is open for hiking and many visitors enjoy taking a picnic on the grounds. They even allow cross-country skiing, in season!

Exploring The Clark

Knee and Elbow by Nairy BaghramianThe Clark Art Institute, as the name implies, is more than an art museum. The campus includes the art museum, of course, but also an art history library and research center for visual arts.

The art museum collection, as mentioned above, contains over 6,000 works of art. These include paintings, sculpture, decorative art, and works on paper. The collection is well known for its Italian, Dutch, and Flemish Old Masters, 19th-century French Impressionists, and European and American silver.

Artists represented include some of the most celebrated in history: Renoir, Dürer, Rodin, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Homer, Pissarro, Cassatt, Millet, Inness, Singer Sargent, and many others. The museum also has more than 1,000 important, European and American photographic works, covering the 1840s to the early 1900s.

The Clark Library is one of the country’s premier art history libraries, with more than 240,000 volumes on its shelves.
The Clark Art Institute Grounds
You don’t have to worry about going hungry during your visit, either. Café 7, located downstairs in the Clark Center, offers authentic, locally sourced, farm-to-table soups, salads, and sandwiches. Yum!

Be sure to check the institute’s event calendar when planning your visit, as they also present a number of special events throughout the year.

Make A Day-Trip Out of Your Visit

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. Visit for more information. You can also follow the institute on Facebook.

While The Clark is nearly an hour’s drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, it is more than worth the effort and the perfect anchor for a wonderful day-trip.

The drive takes you by many other, popular Berkshires attractions. Places such as Williams College Museum of Art Chapin Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Hancock Shaker Village, Melville’s Arrowhead, the Berkshire Museum, The Mount, Tanglewood, and many, many others.

If this sounds like a fun idea to you and you’d like some help deciding the day’s itinerary or best routes, just ask! We here at Applegate Inn love sharing the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts with our guests!

See you soon!