Clark to close doors on Sunday until July 4th summer reopening


WILLIAMSTOWN -- Last call at the Clark.

When the museum, formally known as the Clark Art Institute, closes its doors at 5 p.m. Sunday, it will remain closed to the public through July 4.

"We're at the point where we're ready to begin our work preparing for the summer season exhibitions," said Vicki Saltzman, director of communications at the Clark.

Because the project to expand the gallery space and renovate the museum building and the Manton Research Center, the only gallery space currently open is the Stone Hill Center, which will close Sunday to clear the previous show and prepare for the next Stone Hill exhibition, "Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith."

During the coming weeks, the project's contractor will be turning over completed spaces as they are ready, and behind them will come museum workers to prepare the spaces for installations of exhibitions for the summer season, Saltzman said.

"We are entering the most intense and exciting phase of our campus expansion program," said Clark Director Michael Conforti. "It's necessary to close the galleries temporarily in order to begin the complex process of readying multiple exhibition spaces. During the next few months we will be focused on preparing our buildings and grounds for our opening. We look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors to the new Clark on July 4."

Shows the museum is preparing for the July 4 opening in the newly constructed Visitor Center include "Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art, 1950-1975" and "Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes from the Shanghai Museum."

The original museum building also will reopen July 4 with a new installation of works from the Clark's permanent collection in renovated and expanded galleries. Gallery space in the renovated Museum Building has been expanded by 15 percent, adding 2,200 square feet for presentation of the Clark's permanent collection.

"It's a short hiatus," Saltzman said, "but the wait will be worth it."

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