|© The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts|
|"Dancers in the Classroom" by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, c. 1880, oil on canvas|
As one of the heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, Robert Sterling Clark (1877-1956) didn't have to spend nights awake and worry about laboring to keep the lights on or bringing food to the table.
And while the stylish and reserved gentleman spent time as a soldier and explorer in China as a young man, it wasn't until he moved to Paris and met his future wife, theatrical performer Francine (1876-1960), that he began collecting art.
Over the course of decades, the Clarks amassed a unique collection which included books, paintings, drawings, silver, and porcelain. But the majority of their trove were paintings, and the majority of those works of French Impressionism.
Now, local museumgoers will get to see many of the Clarks' treasures at the MFAH's The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
Included are many pieces created by one-name-needed-only artists like Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Morisot, and Renoir - the last the Clarks' favorite and most collected artist. More than 70 paintings spanning seven decades from 25 artists will be on display.More »