Alson Skinner Clark papers, 1870-1971

Clark, Alson Skinner, b. 1876 d. 1949
Muralist, Printmaker, Landscape painter
Active in Calif.

Collection size: 7.2 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Correspondence; financial papers; diaries; writings by Medora Clark; printed material; photographs of works of art and glass plate negatives.

Correspondence, 1870-1962, (1 linear ft.) is primarily between Clark and his wife Medora, during WWI while Clark was a photographer for the U.S. Navy in France and during the Mexican Revolution while he was painting landscapes, and with parents and friends. Rufus Dryer, a Paris painter and good friend of Clark's, is amongst the correspondents. Diaries (27 v.), date from 1888-1922; 16 were kept by Medora, and 11 by Clark. Included are entries, 1897 and 1898, relating to Clark's student days at the Art Students League and the Chase School of Art. Writings are by Medora and include essays and notes of her travels with her husband with accounts of the opening of the Panama Canal and WWI, and several fiction stories she submitted to magazines. Financial material includes bills and receipts, 1907-1927, some art related, a scrapbook of hotel and restaurant receipts from Europe, 1889, and a sales notebook with photographs of paintings, primarily from the 1920's. Works of art include three drawings and two watercolors. Printed material includes three scrapbooks, 1902-1949, containing exhibition related material, correspondence and newspaper clippings; exhibition announcements and catalogs, newspaper clippings, published articles, and 2 pre-WWI maps of France and Brussels. Photographs are primarily of works of art, and include paintings by Alfred Maurer, 3 albums (dissasembled) of negatives of travels in Europe, ca. 1908, and in southern California, ca. 1918, and negatives of Clark's works of art; and 43 glass plate negatives, with accompanying contact prints, mostly of southern California landscapes, probably used as preparatory studies for paintings.

1997 ADDITION: 11 black and white photographs, including 8 photos of full length portraits of period costumed ladies commissioned by the California Club, 2 photos of a mural done for the Polytechnic Elementary School, Pasadena, and one of a screen for a private home. Also included is a list of paintings with small black and white photos (approx. 1in. x 1 in.), price of paintings, and owners.

2006 ADDITION: Letters to Amelia [Mela] Baker, from Alson Clark, his brothers Mancel Talcott Clark and Edwin Hill Clark (who worked for the family business, Wadsworth-Howland paint company, in Chicago), and others; five photographs (four are cabinet card prints); and a card file inventory of Clark's paintings, ca. 1903-1911, including information about the size, title, date, canvas, varnish, and exhibition history.

Biographical/Historical Note: Landscape and mural painter, printmaker; California.

The 1897 diary, sales notebook, glass negatives, and albums of negatives were donated 1986 by Joseph Moure, an art historian who purchased the material from occupants of Clark's former studio. The remainder was donated by Clark's son, Alson Clark, 1989-1992 and 1997 and by Clark's grand neice, Deborah Clark, in 2006.

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