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Eliot Candee Clark papers, 1839-1984

Eliot Candee Clark papers, 1839-1984

Clark, Eliot Candee, 1883-1980


Collection Information

Size: 6.1 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Virginia painter Eliot Candee Clark measure 6.1 linear feet and date from 1839 to 1984. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, 21 diaries and notebooks, writings and notes, personal business records, photographs, 9 sketchbooks, and artwork and artifacts. Many of the materials relate to Clark's travels in Europe, India, and throughout the United States.

Scattered biographical materials include awards, an address book, printed material relating to various memberships, and resumes. Records of the Fowler family are also found. Clark's correspondence is with family including Walter Clark, friends, colleagues, and galleries and institutions. Notable correspondents include Leon Sparks and Andrew Wyeth.

Twenty-one volumes of diaries and notebooks are written by Clark and his wife, Margaret Fowler Clark. The diaries contain traditional dated diary entries; others document travels. The notebooks include drafts of writings, lists of artists, financial notes, sketches, and school assignments.

Writings include drafts of articles, book manuscripts, plays, and essays by Clark. A small amount of personal business records consist of legal records, price lists, receipts for personal purchases, and sales and consignment records for Clark's works of art.

Printed materials include books containing works of art by Clark, clippings, a dismantled clippings scrapbook, exhibition announcements and catalogs, magazines, and blank postcards. Photographs are of Clark, the Clark family, friends, colleagues, events, homes, and of works of art. Travel photographs are from Clark's trips to Europe, India, Morocco, and the United States.

Nine sketchbooks depict Nova Scotia, Canada, Albemarle County, Virginia, and India. Artwork and artifacts consist of scattered sketches by Clark, and prints by others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eliot Candee Clark (1883-1980) was a landscape painter, writer, and art historian who worked primarily in Virginia. Walter Clark born 1848 was Eliot Clark's father.


The Eliot Candee Clark papers were donated by his widow Margaret Fowler Clark between 1980 and 1984.

Related Materials


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.

A Finding Aid to the Eliot Candee Clark Papers,1839-1984, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
Eliot Candee Clark (1883-1980) was a landscape painter, writer, and art historian who worked primarily in Virginia.
Eliot Clark was born in 1883 in New York City to artist Walter Clark and Jennie Woodruff Clark. As a child with his father's encouragement and guidance, Eliot Clark began exhibiting as early as the age of nine. submitted works to be exhibited at various New York City clubs as a child. By 1896, at the age of thirteen, he began exhibiting regularly at the National Academy of Design. In 1900, at the age of seventeen, Clark exhibited at the Society of American Artists' Annaul. At one point he even shared a studio with his father. From 1904 to 1906, he traveled throughout Europe and painted en plein air. Clark returned to the New York City area and summered in Kent, Connecticut where he continued to paint and exhibit his work. His first one-man show was at Doll & Richards Gallery in New York City.
Eliot Clark was also an art historian, critic, and educator. In 1916 Clark published his first monograph on Alexander H. Wyant. His other works included a book on John Henry Twachtman, published in 1924 and
History of the National Academy of Design
(1954). Clark also served as president of the American Watercolor Society between 1920 and 1923. He taught at the Art Students League in New York City but ultimately settled in Charlottesville, Virginia where he taught summer painting classes.
Throughout his life, Clark travelled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and to Africa. A lengthy trip to India from 1937 to 1938 inspired his study of the religion, mysticism, and art of the country.
Eliot Clark served as president of the National Academy of Design in the 1950s and exhibited until his death in 1980 at the age of ninety-seven. He was survived by his second wife, Margaret Fowler Clark.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 9 series
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1839-1980 (5 folders; Box 1, OV7)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1874-1984 (1 linear foot; Box 1-2)
Series 3: Diaries and Notebooks, circa 1900-1977 (0.8 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-1978 (1.6 linear feet; Box 2-4)
Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1917-1983 (0.2 linear feet: Box 4)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1878-1975 (1.0 linear feet; Box 4-5)
Series 7: Photographs, 1880s-1980 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5-6, OV7, MGP2)
Series 8: Sketchbooks, 1916-1940s (0.5 linear feet; Box 6)
Series 9: Artwork and Artifacts, circa 1900-circa 1940s (0.5 linear feet; Box 6, OV7)
The Eliot Candee Clark papers were donated by his widow Margaret Fowler Clark between 1980 and 1984.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed to a minimal level and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The Archives of American Art has implemented accelerated processing tactics when possible in order to increase information about and access to more of our collections.
Processing included arrangement to the series, subseries, and folder levels. Generally, items within folders were simply verified with folder titles, but not arranged further. The collection was rehoused in archival containers and folders, but not all staples and clips were removed.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of the papers were microfilmed onto reel 2027 shortly upon receipt. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the papers on microfilm does not match the arrangement of the papers after processing, and the film is incomplete.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

Eliot Candee Clark papers, 1839-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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