Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA 01267
J Robert Sterling Clark, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune , and his wife Francine founded The Clark Art Institute. Their collection (Clark bought his first of his 36 Renoirs in 1918) is now open to the public year-round and has been expanded over the years, with many outstanding collections, to become its own distinctive museum in a unique setting with a commitment to world of arts from the past and ideas from the future. Its legacy of impressionist and old master paintings attracts travelers, old and young, with the warm setting of pastoral fields and distant mountains, it all comes together for the enjoyment of works of art in an unhurried experience.
Though probably best known for the many examples of Renoir, Monet, Degas and French 19th century works, the collection, which spans the Renaissance through the late-nineteenth century, continues to grow by purchase and gift. American artists, including Frederick Remington and Winslow Homer, are also well represented. In addition to being a museum, the Clark’s work as an important art center is exemplified by its world class art reference library and the Graduate Program in the History of Art, administered jointly by the Clark and nearby Williams College.
With all of these resources the Clark, set on a 130-acre campus, has set a goal to foster “the quality of ideas that emanate form the study of a work of art”. The institute considers and nurtures its dual nature as both a museum and a research center.