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4.5
81 votes

The Clark Art Institute

225 South St, Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267 USA

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$$$$
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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
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“growing art museum and institute”

While Sterling and Francine Clark had collected art strictly for pleasure, they were interested in establishing a public art gallery for their collection. Sterling considered founding a museum in Cooperstown, New York, near his family’s home, or bequeathing everything to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but by 1946 had decided to create a museum on property he purchased at the corner of Park Avenue and Seventy-second Street in Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, however, the Clarks resolved to build their museum outside of New York, and were drawn to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

The Clarks had a strong familial tie to Williams College, where Sterling's grandfather had served as a trustee between 1878 and 1882 and his father was a trustee from 1882 to 1886. Encouraged by a series of conversations with the leaders of Williams College and its art museum, Sterling and Francine Clark first visited Williamstown in the early autumn of 1949. This visit was followed by a warm and friendly correspondence between the leaders at Williams and the Clarks, who resolved to situate their museum within walking distance of the college. A charter for the new Institute was signed on March 14, 1950, just six short months after the Clarks first visited Williamstown.

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Reviewed by
beckijoppruconnolly

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 9, 2017
Rated 5.0

Love this place. They have treasures such as Monet and Degas. Its unbelievable that this little place in the Berkshire hills has such masterpieces. But believe it !

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Reviewed by
ElizabethVanChris

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 5, 2015

Wonderful museum with a very large and impressive permanent collection, housed in a magnificent building designed by the brilliant Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
This exceptional building with soothing garden was planted down in the middle of a breathtaking scenery. The temporary exhibitions in an annex building a bit further up won't leave you indifferent either. There are several golf carts that can take you there, but it's definitely worth the nice walk if you're physically capable.
The employees and volunteers are all very involved in order to make your visit worthwhile and they radiate their enthusiasm on to the visitors, which is very contagious! :)
This is definitely one of my favorite museums!

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The Clark Art Institute

225 South St
Williamstown, Massachusetts
01267 USA

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Street Parking
  • Private Parking

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