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The Stone Hill Center Opens at the Clark

The opening of Stone Hill Center, designed by award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando, highlights the summer at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.

On June 22, the Clark opens Stone Hill, a 32,000-square-foot facility that blends gracefully into the hillside just south of the Clark’s main entrance, where it is integrated into the Clark’s 140-acre campus through a network of scenic trails. Designed by Ando, a recognized master of landscape views and natural light, the two-story, wood-and-glass building provides vistas of the countryside on the north, east, and west, with a terrace and outdoor café offering a panorama of the Green Mountains and Taconic Range. Stone Hill Center will house the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC); the design affords visitors an opportunity to glimpse the work being done inside their conservation studios.

An exhibition featuring 40 of the best American paintings produced at the turn of the 20th century also is a summer highlight. Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly showcases magnificent paintings created around 1900 by Americans James McNeill Whistler, George Inness, William Merritt Chase, Eduard Steichen, Thomas Dewing, and others who experimented with painting softly, an approach advocated by the influential Whistler, who wrote "Paint should not be applied thick. It should be like breath on the surface of a pane of glass."

Whether responding to the technical challenge of Whistler’s method or to the spiritual aspiration of Inness, these artists capitalized on the power of suggestion over description. Featuring evocative landscapes, mysterious nocturnes, and striking portraits and figure paintings, Like Breath on Glass illustrates the versatility of painting softly and its far reaching effect on painters of the day. The Clark is the exclusive venue for this exhibition on view June 22 through Oct. 19.

The Clark’s exceptional collections of Old Master, Impressionist, British, and 19th-century American art on display in the museum’s intimate galleries are enhanced by the beauty of its setting in the Berkshires. The Clark is surrounded by 140 acres of expansive lawns, meadows, and walking trails.

The Clark’s café serves sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Jae’s at the Clark, a full service restaurant, is open daily in July and August. Picnic tables are located throughout the campus.

The opening of Stone Hill Center, designed by award-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando, highlights the summer at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.