Pulitzer Prize-Winning Art Critic Sebastian Smee to Speak at the Clark

Sebastian Smee

Sebastian Smee

(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Boston Globe Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee will discuss his acclaimed new book, “The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art,” at the Clark Art Institute on Friday, November 18 at 7pm. The free lecture will be followed by a book signing.

In “The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art,” Smee examines the complex relationships between eight celebrated artists and explores the admiration, envy, and ambition inherent in the friendships that linked each to a counterpart. The book details rivalries between Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet; Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso; Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock; and Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, as Smee considers the influence each had on the other’s work.

Calling the book “gripping,” the New York Times said, “Mr. Smee’s skills as a critic are evident throughout. He is persuasive and vivid…. You leave this book both nourished and hungry for more about the art, its creators and patrons, and the relationships that seed the ground for moments spent at the canvas.”

Sebastian Smee has been the Boston Globe’s art critic since 2008. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2011. He joined the Globe’s staff from Sydney, Australia, where he had worked as national art critic for the Australian. Prior to that, he lived for four years in the United Kingdom, where he wrote for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Art Newspaper, the Independent, Prospect magazine, and the Spectator. He has contributed to five books on Lucian Freud. Smee teaches nonfiction writing at Wellesley College.

sebastian-smee-the-art-of-rivarlry-jpgReservations are required; to reserve, visit the Clark Art Institute or call 413 458 0524.




The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit the Clark Art Institute or call 413 458 2303






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