Super Bowl victory for sporting Clark Art Institute

Three months after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts is taking a victory lap. Ahead of the game, the institution entered into a friendly rivalry with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Each promised to foot the bill for a three-month loan of a prized painting if its home team lost. The competition pitted the Clark’s West Point, Prout’s Neck (1900), by Winslow Homer, against SAM’s Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast (1870), by Albert Bierstadt. Thanks to a last-minute interception, Bierstadt’s seven-foot-wide painting will be on show at the Clark from 17 April (until 19 July). “I have to admit that in the last few minutes of the game, we began thinking about what it would take to crate and ship our Prout’s Neck to Seattle,” says Richard Rand, the Clark’s senior curator. “I’m sure [New England Patriots cornerback] Malcolm Butler didn’t realise it at the moment, but his heroics were a tremendous gift to New England art lovers as well as to football fans.” In a neat touch, visitors who wear Patriots or Seahawks gear get free admission on 20 April (if this competition inspires the art world to follow football scores half as closely as it does auction results, the Clark may have earned the sport a new fan base).