Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Williamstown, MA
United States
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

WOTW Berkshires

Situated on 140 acres amid the rolling Berkshire hills, this museum campus was founded in 1950 as a home for Sterling and Francine Clark’s collection of European and American art and as a center for art historical education. The original gallery, a neoclassical, white marble edifice, was designed by architect Daniel Perry and constructed in 1952. In 1973 the museum added a red granite administration building to its campus, designed by Pietro Belluschi and The Architects Collaborative. The museum is surrounded by native hardwood forest, meadows, and a lily pond, and is abutted by a large South Lawn which hosts outdoor concerts and festivals in the summer months. Walking trails circumvent the site and lead to the summit of Stone Hill, affording sweeping views of Williamstown and the Green Mountains in Vermont.

In 2001 the Clark announced a master plan for expansion which would also preserve the unique woodland and meadow character of museum grounds. Seven years later the museum embarked on campus expansion, which began with the construction of the Stone Hill Center, designed by Tadao Ando. During this time Reed Hilderbrand Associates developed the Clark’s landscape master plan. Their design preserved the existing pastoral character of the site’s meadows and woodlands, while integrating new landscape features that include two miles of walking trails, additional parking, and reorganized vehicular circulation. The design also includes a tiered reflecting pool, which connects the new building with the surrounding naturalistic landscape and harvests storm water for reuse in plumbing and irrigation systems.