In early 2007, I traveled to The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in the Berkshires to study John Singer Sargent’s Fumée d’Ambre Gris for my senior thesis. This was my first ever solo-trip. I flew into Manchester, New Hampshire, rented a car, and braved the winding, high speed roads to Massachusetts and fell in love with this charming, treasure-filled museum tucked away in the mountains.
The Clark is known for it’s fabulous collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings and just down the hall from the Sargent that I had traveled to see, hung Monet’s The Cliffs at Etretat. Painted just five years after Sargent’s exotic North African woman, Monet’s painting depicts the northern French coastline, a fashionable vacation spot among the 19th century Parisian bourgeoisie.