Michael Conforti will be coming to speak at Museum Conversations on Wednesday, January 29, 2014. His talk is entitled “The Clark—Next.”

Michael Conforti is Director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Adjunct Professor of Art History at Williams College. He received his BA from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and his PhD from Harvard University. Prior to his current position, Conforti was the Chief Curator and Bell Memorial Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1980-1994) and Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1977-1980). His numerous curatorial and publication projects include contributions to the following exhibits and associated catalogues for the Clark Institute: Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History (2013), Unearthed: Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China (2012), and The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings (2006).

The Clark Art Institute is both an art museum and a center for research and higher education located on 140 acres in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, three hours north of New York City. The Institute’s permanent collection—famous for its Old Master and nineteenth-century paintings begun in the early twentieth century by the Institute’s founders, Sterling and Francine Clark—is enhanced by a series of internationally recognized special exhibitions and, like any art museum today, a number of public and educational programs, including a free busing program that underwrites the cost of bus travel for schools within a one-day drive. The Clark’s Research and Academic Program, supported by one of the country’s largest art history libraries, comprises a Visiting Fellows Program, a conference and symposium program that organizes scholarly events in Williamstown and at sites around the world, and a graduate program in art history co-organized with Williams College. Also located on the Clark’s campus is the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, a nonprofit institution that is committed to the preservation of works of art and objects of cultural heritage and supports a consortium of fifty museums throughout the Northeast. As the Clark has grown, so too has the Institute’s need for expanding its facilities. In his talk at the BGC, Conforti will discuss the evolution of the Clark’s art and academic program over the last fifteen years. He will also address the Institute’s master-planning process begun in the late 1990s and its expansion designed by the Pritzker-Prize winning architect Tadao Ando, the New York–based architect Annabelle Selldorf, and the landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand Associates of Watertown, Massachusetts. The Clark Art Institute will inaugurate its new campus in July 2014.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.