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The New Clark: Bringing the Ando Experience to the Berkshires

Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
In 2002 we were offered an opportunity to make a long-term observation film about the radical expansion of a well-known small museum in the Berkshires, the Clark Art Institute. It was built in the 1950s in a neo-classical style. Sterling and Francine Clark, passionate collectors of Impressionist paintings, had been planning to build a museum for their collection on Manhattan’s Upper East Side close to the Frick Collection. Cold War concerns about the safety of the collection led them to consider alternative sites. Sterling Clark was encouraged by the faculty and administration of Williams College to consider Williamstown, Massachusetts. Williamstown was both a safe distance from the city and had an appealing academic community. Shortly after their first visit, the Clarks decided to build their museum in Williamstown.. By the 1970s a first expansion took place creating galleries for the many well-curated traveling exhibitions that could be brought to the Clark, and a library that became much admired by art historians. The design of the addition, a free-standing building reminiscent of the brutalist style of the time, never quite hit it off with the public. When Michael Conforti became director in 1994 he soon began to think of new directions for the future of the Clark and had the necessary support from the Board of Directors.. Our filming started after Tadao Ando, one of Japan's most celebrated architects, had been selected in 2001 and agreed to design this newest expansion. We followed the many essential meetings – design, board, construction and site meetings – until completion of the project in 2014. Michael Conforti turned out to be a critical and uncompromising client, while Tadao Ando held his own, despite the tendency of “architecture by democratic discussion” in the many meetings, which he was not used to in Japan or elsewhere where the designer is “the master” who is not to be challenged, certainly not for small details. But he was able to work out his client’s requests in favor of the project, applying his own ideas and creating a genuine “Ando Experience.”. THE NEW CLARK is an intimate insight into a difficult museum expansion by a self-taught Japanese architect and his American client.
Release Date
2016
Run Time
98 min.
Language
In English
Notes
  • In Process Record.
  • Title from title frames.
  • Film
Published
Michael Blackwood Productions, 2016.
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.
Recording Info
Originally produced by Michael Blackwood Productions in 2016.
Publisher no.
1212257 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (streaming video file) (98 minutes): digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
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