Michael Conforti ’68 Talks About Visual Arts Industry

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Michael Conforti ’68, former director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, visited Trinity last Thursday to share his experiences and knowledge of the art world with Trinity students. He spoke about opportunities and challenges students may face when they break into the visual art industry after graduation. He explained the various positions available including curating, teaching, publishing, business, finance, and marketing.
Conforti graduated from Trinity College as an Art History major in 1968, although he was not permitted to attend his commencement ceremony due to too many outstanding parking tickets. Forty-seven years later he is receiving an honorary degree from Trinity for his outstanding career in the art world.
Before receiving his MA and PhD in art history from Harvard he began his long career in the art world working at Sotheby’s, an art auction house in London. He then went on to work as a curator in museums in San Francisco and Minneapolis and eventually landed at the Clark Art Institute. From there, Conforti has received international acclaim for his work in instituting programs that have linked research and education in the art world. He revolutionized the Institute’s reputation and endowment irrevocably during his career. Conforti worked as the director of the Clark Art Institute from 1994 until he retired in 2015.

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