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Records and Papers of David Brooke, Director, 1977-1996

Records and Papers of David Brooke, Director, 1977-1996

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Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute:

A Guide to the Records and Papers of David Brooke, Director, 1977-1996

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Library
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA, 01267

March 31, 2009

Profile Description

Creation: Finding aid Inventory prepared by Dani Ryan
Language: Finding aid written in English.

Repository: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Library
Creator:Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Title: Records and Papers of David Brooke, Director, 1977-1996
Dates: 1975-1996
General Physical Description: 5 linear feet (7 boxes)
Abstract:The papers and records of David Brooke, director of the Clark from 1977 to 1994, include business files and correspondence about the administration of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and also Brooke's personal research about Robert Sterling Clark, the Clark Family, and various art-related subjects in which he was interested.
Identification: CAI ARC 2007.06
Language: English

Arrangement of the Records and Papers

The records that came from David Brooke's office comprise boxes 1-4 and are separated into Brooke's professional records and his personal research on the Clark family. There was little internal organization to the materials when they were received and, beyond grouping similar materials within records relating to the administration of the Institute and papers relating to Brooke's research into the Clark family, no further schema was imposed on the files. The records from the Director's Vault are contained in box 5 and are roughly grouped together by topic. Folders 199, 200, and 350 are filed out of sequence because they are housed in a legal-sized box (box 6).

Scope and Contents of the Records and Papers

David S. Brooke, Director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute from 1977-1994, was born in Walton-on-Thames, England in 1931. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Harvard University. Before joining the Clark, he served as assistant curator at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, MA from 1960-1961, as assistant to the director at the Smith College Museum in Northampton, MA from 1963-1965, as chief curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto from 1965-1968, and as the director of the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, NH from 1968-1977.

The majority of these records came from David Brooke's office but a smaller group was found at a later date in the Director's Vault.

The records retrieved from Brooke's office are divided into categories of professional records and personal research. The professional records span a wide variety of museum concerns including research and planning for exhibitions, grant applications, the museum’s acquisitions policy, budgets, annual reports, inventories, lists of artworks, correspondence, and speeches Brooke gave to students and staff. There are particularly extensive files of research on William Bouguereau and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The Bouguereau research pertains to Brooke's 1983 publication A Biography of Bouguereau's Nymphs and Satyr and a 1985 exhibit "Bouguereau's Nymphs and Satyr: A Biography of a Painting." The files on Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema concern the acquisition of the Alma-Tadema painting, "The Women of Amphissa," in 1978, which was the first major acquisition during Brooke's tenure. The correspondence in this series contains exchanges with Clark staff, researchers, donors and lenders, and staff at other museums and foundations. The professional records also contain eulogies for John Edward Sawyer, George Heard Hamilton, and Talcott Banks, and poetry by Daniel Perry, architect of the 1955 building. There is an outline and bibliography of materials in the Clark Archives detailing the papers and articles left by RSC and listing articles written about the Clark family. There are daily planners for the years 1977-1992. There are several audiotapes of interviews with David Brooke and a videotape labeled "Portrait by Clemens."

Brooke’s research on RSC and the Clark family is divided into the categories of RSC Interests, Clark Family Research, Diary Photocopies, RSC Letters, Collectors, and Dealers. RSC Interests contains copies of excerpts from RSC’s diaries, Brooke’s notes, articles, and other research on topics that particularly interested RSC, such as horses, books, military history, and food and wine. The Clark Family Research includes articles, genealogical records, and folders of Brooke’s notes on RSC and his family members. The Diary Photocopies section includes photocopies, transcripts, and indices of RSC’s diaries. RSC’s letters includes both photocopies of letters to and from RSC, and Brooke’s correspondence with people who knew RSC and other researchers about his research. The autobiography of Paul Clemens is also found in this section. The Collectors and Dealers sections contain Brooke’s research about and correspondence with other prominent art collectors of Clark’s time and art and book dealers with whom Clark dealt. Finally, this series includes an index of books on military history once owned by Robert Sterling Clark and currently in the collection of the Beinecke Library.

The records from the Director's Vault contain planning materials and drafts of the 25th anniversary report, copies of director's reports, research about and correspondence with art dealers, photocopies of early institutional records such as the articles of incorporation and trustee meeting minutes from the 1950s, and photocopies of catalogue information for the RSC military library.

History of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

In 1950 Sterling and Francine Clark chartered the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a home for their extensive art collection. Opened to public in 1955, the Institute has built upon this extraordinary group of works to become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. One of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with a complement of research and academic programs, including a major art history library, the Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history. Building upon the founders' legacy, the Institute has recently unveiled its master plan for the twenty-first century, which fosters the Clark's commitment to providing space for its expanding research and museum programs while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting.


Restrictions on Access

This material is currently restricted.

Restrictions on Use

This material is currently restricted.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

When David Brooke retired as director of the Clark in 1994, he was given an office in the area above the auditorium balcony (rooms 1973-U-503 and 501). The majority of these papers were stored in filing cabinets and boxes in these two rooms. The remainder of these papers were stored in the Director's Vault.

Preferred Citation

[Cite the item (as appropriate)], Records and Papers of David Brooke, Director, 1977-1996, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Records, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Acquisition Information

Some of these materials were inventoried and accessioned in late 2006, along with personal papers of Robert Sterling Clark which were subsequently removed and added to the Sterling and Francine Clark Papers. In May of 2007, David Brooke cleaned out and vacated his offices, transferring many more records and papers to the Archives. He also brought in some papers from his home. In February 2008 material found in the Director's Vault was incorporated into this series.

Processing Information

These materials were processed in May and June of 2007. Staples were removed and materials were re-housed in acid free folders and boxes. Loose items were sorted into the appropriate categories.

Related Material

Related or similar material can be found in the following series in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Archives, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Director's Office Records of David Brooke, 1980-1994; Sterling and Francine Clark Papers; Photographs Separated from the Records of the Director's Office; Curatorial Office Records of the Prints and Drawings Department; Director's Office Records of Exhibitions; Director's Office 1955-1977; Records of the Curator of Paintings; and Records of John H. Brooks; Institutional Oral Histories; Historical Records from the Director's Vault, 1950-1994.

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