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Institutional Oral Histories

Institutional Oral Histories

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Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute:

An Guide to Institutional Oral Histories, 1978-1999

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

March 31, 2009

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced 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: Institutional Oral Histories
Dates: 1978-1999 (inclusive) 1998-1999 (bulk)
General Physical Description: 5 linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:This series contains oral history interviews with important figures in the early history of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
Identification: CAI ARC 2007.47
Language: English

Arrangement of the Records

This collection is arranged by format type and alphabetically within each format.

Scope and Contents of the Records

This series contains oral history interviews, on VHS, audiocassette, DVD, and betacam, with a variety of people affiliated with the Clark family and/or the early history of the museum and graduate program. The interviews include: Javotte Ray, Francine Clark's granddaughter; Frances Greenough and Cecily Symington, Cooperstown friends of the Clarks; Cary Grayson, the son of Admiral Cary T. Grayson, a close friend of the Clarks; Venice Partenope, a nurse who cared for the Clarks in their final years; Lane Faison, Bill Pierson, and Whitney Stoddard, professors of art history at Williams College who knew the Clarks and were active in the early history of the museum and graduate program; Norman Hirschl, an art dealer who dealt with the Clarks; Alexander Stoller, a sculptor who knew Sterling Clark and Peter Guille; Victor Tardino Sr., one of Sterling Clark's accountants Daniel Perry, architect of the 1955 museum building; George Heard Hamilton, former director of the Clark; Lou McManus, former superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the Clark; David Brooke, former director of the Clark who conducted research on the Clark Family and the early history of the museum; and Casmir de Rham, a Clark trustee. There is one DVD of a panel talk held in 1994 with Lane Faison, Daniel Perry and Venice Partenope discussing their recollections of RSC moderated by David Brooke. There are many duplicates in the series. There are up to 3 VHS copies of some interviews, as well as copies on Betacam, DVD and audiocassette. Interviews with David Brooke and Waldo Johnston, Jr. only exist on DVD. The DVD of the interview with Daniel Perry also includes historical footage of the Clark and "Never Say Die" winning the Derby. The audiocassette interviews of Cecily Symington, Frances Greenough, Whitney Stoddard, and Bill Pierson do not have an accompanying video.

The final box in this series contains preliminary research and planning materials for the oral history interviews. These records contain invoices for expenses related to the interviews, correspondence with the interviewees, background research on the interviewees and their relationships with Clark, and indices of the audio interview records. In 2008 additional material was discovered and added to this series. It consists of detailed notes on the several of the histories taken in 2002 by Mark Reach, a curatorial intern at the time.

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.

Index Terms

Art museum directors
Art museums
Betacam (TM)
Brooke, David S.
Clark, Robert Sterling, 1877-1956
De Rham, Casimir, 1924-
Faison, S. Lane (Samson Lane), 1907-2006
Grayson, Cary Jr.
Greenough, Frances
Hamilton, George Heard
Hirschl, Norman
Johnston, Waldo C. M.
McManus, G. Louis
Oral histories
Partenope, Venice C. (Venice Cecelia), 1902-2004
Perry, Daniel, d. 2002
Pierson, William Harvey, 1911-
Ray, Françoise, 1933-
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Stoddard, Whitney, S.
Stoller, Alexander, 1902-1994
Symington, Cecily
Tardino, Victor Sr.
Williams College
Williamstown (Mass.)


Restrictions on Access

This material is currently restricted.

Restrictions on Use

This material is currently restricted.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The VHS, Betacam, and Audiocasettes, and planning materials were moved to the Director's Vault sometime after 1999. The DVDs were found in the media services workspace.

Preferred Citation

[Cite the item (as appropriate)], Institutional Oral Histories, 1978-1999, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Records, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Acquisition Information

These items were accessioned from the Director's Vault in November 2007.

Processing Information

Items were separated by format, alphabetized within each format and placed in individual archival cases and acid-free boxes.

Related Material

On the occasion of the Clark Art Institute’s 50th anniversary, the Clark published: The Clark brothers collect: impressionist and early modern paintings / Michael Conforti ... [et al.] ; with additional contributions by Daniel Cohen-McFall ... [et al.], Williamstown, Mass., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006

Related or similar material can be found in the following series in the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Archives, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Sterling and Francine Clark Papers; Director's Office 1955-1977; Records and Papers of David Brooke.

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