County Fare: Clark Art The Same Only Better


Want to know more about the recent renovations at The Clark Art Institute?

At 2 p.m. Friday, the museum will present a free talk, "The Same Only Better: Updating a Beloved Museum" with architect Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, principal of Selldorf Architects, who is responsible for the redesign of the Clark’s Museum Building.

Selldorf will be joined in The Clark’s Manton Research Center auditorium by Richard Rand, the museum’s Robert & Martha Lipp senior curator, and Kathleen Morris, the Sylvia & Leonard Marx director of collections and exhibitions.

Together, they will provide the audience with a step-by-step explanation of the renovation and expansion process, discussing the fine balance between maintaining the intimacy and charm of the building and creating new gallery spaces, improving circulation patterns and upgrading lighting, display finishes and more.

Designed by architect Daniel Deverell Perry and erected in 1955, the museum building is a neoclassical white marble temple that houses the Clark’s permanent collection.

Selldorf’s updates include restructured lighting, green initiatives, a new gallery layout, and an additional 2,200 square feet of exhibition space. Gallery wall colors were changed to emphasize the beauty of the building’s interior and to showcase the art in the best way possible.

She continues to work on the renovation of the Clark’s Manton Research Center.


Speaking of art and history, during the spring semester, the Century America Digital Liberal Art Project, part of the Distance Mentoring Program sponsored by the Teagle Foundation, brought together 13 students from 10 member campuses of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) founded before 1914. The Century America project asked students to research their home institutions to find out what those communities were like during the Great War.

The students used special collections and other library, campus and community resources, as well as digital technologies, to rethink the way research is presented and to share the experiences of students, faculty, townspeople and other Americans before, during and after World War I.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts history major Alisia True (’14), who was one of the project participants, crafted a website that presents a snapshot of life and community in North Adams and at the college during an important moment in America’s history.

True and four other COPLAC students presented their research at the June 29 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Conference in Washington, D.C., under the guidance of Jeffrey McClurken, chairman and professor of history and American studies at the University of Mary Washington, and Ellen Holmes Pearson, an associate professor of history from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

"What amazed me the most was witnessing the effect the war had on bringing [the former North Adams State College] and the North Adams community closer together. In contributing to the war effort, the school and the town truly banded together for what appears to be the first time," said True, a native of Lyndeborough, N.H., and a transfer student to MCLA from Nashua Community College.

During that era, True learned, in addition to collaborating with the community on a war garden, the college -- predecessor of MCLA -- offered sewing classes in the evening to all the women of North Adams.

"It seems MCLA has always been an important cultivator of creativity," she said.

"But what I found to be most important was the way the school contributed to providing North Adams with patriotism, pride and comfort during wartime with its numerous concerts, plays and community activities," True said. "MCLA was vital in keeping up the morale of the community during an intense moment in history."

See True’s work at:


Pittsfield’s needy will reap the benefits of nearly 3,000 pounds of nutritious, healthy food collected during this past weekend’s Super-Food Drive.

In the drive sponsored by the Healthy Pittsfield Partnership, a collaboration of the city’s Health Department and Board of Health, generous grocery shoppers contributed wholesome foods such as peanut butter, whole grain item, brown rice, lentils and canned fruit, according to city health officials.

Shirley MacDonald, Berkshire Community Action Council’s director of community programs, coordinated the effort to bring more wholesome foods to 10 food pantries and meal sites in Pittsfield.

"We had a lot of what we were looking for ... and got some cash donations toward buyer other food," she told County Fare.

MacDonald expects the Super-Food Drive will become an annual event.


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