This month, I'm proud to be able to showcase the works of Clarice Smith in the exhibition Clarice Smith: Recollections of a Life in Art. Smith is an outstanding contemporary artist whose art and career exemplify a New-York Historical Society differentiating characteristic: to bridge the gap that traditionally separates art and history museums. She paints with a vivid and resonant power so that the viewer is both engaged in the aesthetic pleasure of the work and the appreciation of the artist’s life. As such, her art can thrill and absorb us now and be valued by subsequent generations as painterly evidence of a time and place, as well as the command of an artist’s imagination.
This exhibition could not have come at a more appropriate time, as the New-York Historical Society embarks on a new venture into the world of female artists and women’s history with plans for a brand-new suite of galleries focusing on twentieth century figures. Smith’s contribution is therefore not only to offer our visitors a rare and splendid opportunity to be rewarded and enriched by her art, but also for us to “dip our toes” into an important, but often-neglected story. We thank her for so generously working with us to organize Recollections of a Life in Art, and a deep debt of gratitude is also owed to my exceptional colleagues, above all our Museum Director Linda Ferber and our Historian Valerie Paley.
I hope to see you in the galleries for this valuable and thought-provoking exhibition.
Letters from Louise Mirrer
With best regards,