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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

A Family Affair: Clark Free Family Day To Celebrate Siblings

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A July 30 "Clark Brothers Lawn Party Family Day" at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum will include several "sibling-inspired" activities. These siblings attended a 2005 Clark Art Family Day event.[Photo by Susan Bush]
Williamstown - Come siblings, come all, to a July 30 Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute free Family Day at the museum's 225 South Street campus.

Marionette Performance Of Hansel and Gretel

Family-friendly activities and events are scheduled along the grounds rolling lawns and the buildings's elegant interior, all in celebration of the Clark's summer exhibition "The Clark Brothers Collect:Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings."

Event organizers have planned a "Clark Brothers Lawn Party Family Day" as an 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. extravaganza that includes jousting, acrobats, pony rides, and Tanglewood Marionettes performances of the fairy tale classic focused on a sibling duo, "Hansel and Gretel." The puppet shows are set for noon and 2 p.m., and each show covers about 45 minutes.

Most events and activities are free and there is no admission to the event or the Clark Art galleries during the celebration. Food booths set up mostly by local restaurant owners will sell a variety of victuals and beverages during the event.

Stephen's Basball and "Sterling's Studs"

A trio of tents will pay homage to the collections of Sterling and Stephen Clark. Children and adults may be able to let their creative juices flowing via a Picasso "scratch art" activity and families may honor themselves through a horseshoe family plaque project inspired by "Never Say Die," a racehorse owned by Sterling Clark and an Epsom derby winner.

Acrobatic entertainers "Double Vision" are scheduled to perform a routine dubbed "Sibling Symmetry" at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.. The duo is known for their juggling skills, mime routines, illusion, contortion, and other talents.

Visitors may choose to engage in a genteel diversion such as croquet, a more athletic pursuit, badminton, or the hand-eye game of horseshoes. A "treasure trail" for families is part of the events roster. A "Cooperstown Batting Cage" is planned as acknowledgement of Stephen Clark's involvement with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and pony rides on equines dubbed "Sterling's Studs" will offer tribute to Sterling Clark's passion for horses.

The campus courtyard is expected to host a small gallery of vintage television shows, which will be being broadcast during the event. Gallery talks by Curator of Education Michael Cassin are scheduled to occur at the permanent collection space at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m..

Bring A Family Heirloom For Appraisal

Antique appraisal by Charles Flint, a Lenox-based appraiser, is expected to be part of the day's festivities. Flint has agreed to offer appraisals of up to three items per person for a $5 fee from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The appraisals will be conducted under the cover of a big tent erected on the museum's front lawn.

A live snake display is being presented by the Berkshire Museum.

The "Happy Feet Orchestra" is scheduled to perform throughout the even from the front steps of the marble building and hopes to keep toes tapping and nimble feet flying.

The Brothers Clark

Sterling and Stephen Clark grew up in New York City and Cooperstown, N.Y., and were heirs to the Singer Sewing company wealth. During the early era of their art collecting days, the brothers often discussed art purchases and sought out collection pieces together. By the 1920s, the brothers were not on speaking terms.

Sterling Clark founded the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in 1955, while Stephen Clark is among those who launched the Museum of Modern Art. He was a founder of the Fenimore Museum, the Farmer's Museum, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

"The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionists and Early Modern Paintings" joins Sterling Clark's collection of art by artists such as Renoir,Monet, Homer and Sargent, with those collected by Stephen Clark, including works by Hopper, Matisse, Cezanne, Hopper, and Picasso. The exhibit hosts over 70 paintings and is open until Sept. 4.

The exhibit "explores the Clark brothers' relationship, their rivalry,and the influential but ultimately divergent roles they came to play in the arts in the United States," according to information provided by the Clark.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Mon. from Sept. to June.

June to October gallery admission is $10 per adult and free for those age 18 and under, museum members, and students with a valid student identification card. Admission is free from November to May.

Additional information about the Clark art institute is available by calling 413-458-2303 or at a www.clarkart.edu Internet web site.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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