In 1950 the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute was established to house its namesakes' extensive art collection.
Today he collection features European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early 20th-century, and is especially rich in French Impressionist and Academic paintings, British oil sketches, drawings, and silver, and the work of American artists Homer, Inness, and Sargent.
A 42,600-square-foot addition, designed by architect Tadao Ando, includes more than 11,000 square feet of gallery space for special exhibitions and a glass Pavilion that creates a new entrance to the original Museum Building. The Clark sits on 140 acres of expansive lawns, meadows, and walking trails.
Whether you go or not, The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, examines the magnificent collections of the brothers Sterling and Stephen Clark—heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune—who were among the 20th century’s most influential art collectors. The collections are explored in context of their personal lives and public profiles, and their significant roles in the history of American museums. Handsomely produced, this book features over two hundred illustrations of the works from Sterling’s and Stephen’s collections. It also includes essays by distinguished scholars, an illustrated chronology, and a previously unpublished checklist of works purchased by Stephen Clark.
While the brothers shared a love for great art, they collected in different ways. Sterling was a private collector; his French Impressionist masterpieces, including thirty-eight Renoirs, and works by such American artists as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Remington, and Mary Cassatt now form the distinguished collection of the Clark. Stephen, a businessman and museum trustee, acquired modern works by such masters as Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh, often with specific museum collections in mind—including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Also, Shadow and Light: Tadao Ando at the Clark, documents the 2014 expansion of the Clark. Noted architectural photographer Richard Pare captures the building’s indoor and outdoor spaces—including reflecting pools, galleries, and courtyards—in more than 60 gorgeous images.