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Clark Art Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
12:17PM / Saturday, September 16, 2023
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for $100,000 to support the implementation of a summer 2024 exhibition on French artist Guillaume Lethière. 
The grant to the Clark was part of a $41.3 million package of 280 humanities projects nationwide recently announced by the NEH.
"We are extremely grateful to the NEH for its support and for the recognition of the importance of this project," said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. "This is the first time in the Clark's history that we have received an NEH grant in support of an exhibition and its related programming and we are very honored to be in the prestigious company of the other recipients."
According to a press release:
Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, Guillaume Guillon-Lethière (1760–1832), the son of a government official and plantation owner and a formerly enslaved woman of color, was a key figure in the history of art during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  As a painter, Lethière achieved the highest levels of recognition in his time. A favorite artist of Napoleon's brother, Lucien Bonaparte, he served as director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1807 to 1816, as a member of the Institut de France beginning in 1818, and as a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts beginning in 1819. Despite his fame and influence during his lifetime, Lethière's story has been all but lost to history.
The Clark's exhibition is the first major museum presentation on Lethière's life and achievements and will provide new insights into questions relevant in the artist's time regarding the reception and assessment of Caribbean art.
The Clark's exhibition opens on June 15, 2024 and is planned to feature some eighty paintings, drawings, and prints.
"These 280 new grant awards underscore the wide range of exemplary, fascinating, and impactful humanities work that scholars, practitioners, and institutions are conducting in all corners of the country," said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo).
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