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Special Exhibitions
Sterling Clark in China,1908-1909
Date: 2013-09-19 ~ 2013-12-01
Venue: No.3 Exhibition Hall, Fourth Floor
The founder of the Clark Art Institute, RobertSterling Clark, is well known for his abundantcollection of fine arts. His passion for art can beobserved in the exhibition “Barbizon throughImpressionism: Great French Paintings from theSterling and Francine Clark Art Institute” currentlyon view at the Shanghai Museum. Another identityof Mr. Clark, however, is not known to most people–he was the organizer of a scientific expedition thatwent through northwest China between 1908 and1909 and contributed considerably to the study ofgeology, meteorology, biology, and ethnography.

The founder of the Clark Art Institute, RobertSterling Clark, is well known for his abundantcollection of fine arts. His passion for art can beobserved in the exhibition “Barbizon throughImpressionism: Great French Paintings from theSterling and Francine Clark Art Institute” currentlyon view at the Shanghai Museum. Another identityof Mr. Clark, however, is not known to most people–he was the organizer of a scientific expedition thatwent through northwest China between 1908 and1909 and contributed considerably to the study ofgeology, meteorology, biology, and ethnography.

Different from other expeditions that came to Chinain the early 20th century, such as the ones of Aurel
Stein and Paul Pelliot, Clark’s team followed theoriginal intention throughout the trip, that is, toexplore the hinterland of the Loess Plateau withscientific methods. They never took any relics outof China. Instead, the team offered free medicaltreatments to the local inhabitants on their route.After the expedition, all thebiological samplesthey collected and made were donated to sciencesocieties. Compared to those who gained publicattention for raising the disputes over the ownershipof relics, Clark's expedition falls outside of ourfocus because of its simple intention and benevolentattitude.

Taking the opportunity of holding the "Great FrenchPaintings" exhibition with the Clark, we designed
this exhibition of the Clark expedition to displaythe valuable historical photographs the team left
us. We hope our visitors can know more aboutthe exhibition as well as Mr. Clark’s venerable
personality. Some new photos were selected fromMr. Li Ju’s works. Inspired by the exact expedition,
Li Ju took comparative photos when he revisited theplaces where the Clark expedition had traveled.





 
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