WILLIAMSTOWN, MA.- The achievements of great women artists will be the highlight of a free lecture by assistant curator of education Danielle Steinmann on Wednesday, March 11. Women at the Clark will also include a preview of the summer 2009 exhibition featuring the work of American painter Georgia OKeeffe, and a look at Francine Clary Clark, co-founder of the Clark. The 7 pm lecture is held in conjunction with the Berkshires-wide recognition of International Womens Day and its 2009 theme, The Power of Women in the Arts.
The Clarks collection includes works by celebrated artists Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. These women overcame obstacles such as not being allowed to draw from nude models or interact with male artists, which often prevented women from becoming professional artists. Vigée-Lebruns portraits of Marie Antoinette and Cassatt's Modern Woman Mural for the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition and Fair in Chicago defied the odds and celebrated women and women's lives.
Like her husband Sterling, Francine had an avid interest in collecting art. Sterling once described Francine as an excellent judge, much better than I am at times. Steinmann will describe the influential Francine and the passion for art she shared with Sterling, which led to the founding of the Clark in 1950.
The summer 2009 exhibition Dove/OKeeffe: Circles of Influence features the work of Georgia OKeeffe as never before examined. OKeeffes early works will be on view with those of modernist Arthur Dove, whom she credited as introducing her to abstraction as a means of artistic expression. Steinmann will give a preview of this groundbreaking Clark-exclusive exhibition.
In conjunction with the Berkshires-wide recognition of International Womens Day, the Clark presents the exhibition Womens Work. Thirteen prints, drawings, and photographs created by women are featured through April 19. Take this special opportunity to see works by Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Julia Margaret Cameron, Käthe Kollwitz, Doris Ulmann, Alice Burr, Anna Atkins, Berenice Abbott, and Berthe Morisot. In addition, associate curator of European art Sarah Lees will broach the question Have There Really Been No Great Women Artists? on March 25, bringing feminist art historical criticism into the present day.