WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- The Clark Art Institute
received the 2014 Apollo Award for Museum Opening of the Year during presentation ceremonies held in London on December 3. The award, presented by Apollo, the noted international arts magazine, recognizes major achievements in the art and museum worlds.
The Clark received the award in recognition of its distinctive success in combining new construction, a subtle renovation of its existing facilities, and a significant rethinking of its landscape to create a unified new campus. Other museums nominated for the 2014 Museum Opening of the Year award included the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; the Imperial War Museum, London; the Musée du Louvres Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts Galleries, Paris; and the Mauritshuis, The Hague.
The Clark is a truly deserving winner of Apollo's Museum Opening of the Year Award for 2014, said Dr. Thomas Marks, editor of Apollo magazine. The Institute received numerous nominations from our editorial board and contributors, many of whom cited the exceptional vision behind both the new Clark Center and the renovated main galleries. In a museum world that often seems increasingly focused on blockbuster exhibitions and blue-chip contemporary art, its hugely salutary to see an outstanding historical collection and research facilities presented with such elegance and flair.
Michael Conforti, director of the Clark, accepted the award at a London dinner celebrating the winners and nominees.
We are very honored to receive the Apollo Award, he said. This recognition from one of the most important publications in the art world is particularly significant as it reflects a serious consideration of both the architectural achievement and the realization of programming accomplished.
The Clarks campus expansion program includes construction of the new Clark Center designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Osaka, Japan; renovation of the original Museum Building and Manton Research Center by Selldorf Architects, New York; and a dramatic landscape design by Reed Hilderbrand, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gensler, New York is the executive architect for the project.
In reviewing the project in its July/August issue, Apollo lauded the transformative undertaking for enhancing the visitor experience while maintaining the intimate experience of its museum galleries for which the Clark is noted throughout the world.
While this honor is certainly gratifying, what we are most energized about is the opportunities that are now possible here on our campus, Conforti said. We are able to present new types of exhibitions to our audience, provide an exceptional setting for scholars and academic programs, and create a new gathering place for our community that provides both a meaningful experience of art and a wonderful embrace of our 140-acre campus.
Previous winners of the prestigious Apollo Award include the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2013) and the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2012).