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Eliot Candee Clark Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Oct 1992

Biographical History

Eliot Candee Clark was an American impressionist painter known for his landscapes, particularly harbor views. His father, artist Walter Clark, fostered the young boy's talent which appeared early -- he submitted his first work to the New York Water Color Club at age nine and to the National Academy of Design at thirteen (he exhibited at the latter location almost annually until 1980). His work was accepted for exhibition at the Society of American Artists’ annual in 1900 when he was only seventeen.

Two years later, in 1904, Clark undertook an extended journey across Europe; when he returned in 1906 he settled in to a productive career in New York City. In 1912 he had a one-man show at the Louis Katz Gallery in New York and won the Third Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy for Under the Trees and in 1919, along with George Elmer Browne and Walter Griffin, he was part of a three-man show at the Milwaukee Art Institute. The Telfair Academy of Savannah, Georgia, exhibited his work in 1924. Clark shared his expertise with students at the Art Students League and, beginning in 1933, at summer school classes in Charlottesville.

In addition to his painting and teaching, Clark also published several works on art history. In 1916 he completed his first monograph (on Alexander H. Wyant, one of America's great landscape painters); his other works included a book on John Henry Twachtman (1924); History of the National Academy of Design (1954); and a major monograph on Theodore Robinson, published many years posthumously by R. H. Love Galleries of Chicago in 1980).

Clark was a member of the American Watercolor Society and served as president from 1920 to 1923. Clark also served as president of the National Academy of Design (1956-1959). He continued to write and paint until his death in Charlottesville, Virginia at the age of ninety-seven.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from information from R. H. Love Galleries.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Spanning 1910 to 1969, the Eliot Candee Clark Papers comprises Biographical material, Correspondence, a Subject file, Writings, and Memorabilia which illuminate the professional career of the American painter and art critic (1883-1980).

Arranged chronologically, the predominantly incoming Correspondence (Box 1) covers the years 1910 to 1969, with the majority of the letters from the 1950s, during which time Clark assumed an active role in the membership of the National Academy of Design, serving as its president from 1956 to 1959. Correspondence includes that of fellow artists (Karl Anderson, Pietro Annigoni, John Taylor Arms, Edwin Dickinson, Ralph Fabri, Harry Hoffman, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Eric Isenburger, Leon Kroll, Harry Leith-Ross, Georg Lober, Will Low, Roy Mason, Hobart Nichols, Ogden M. Pleissner, Everett Shinn, Coulton Waugh, Frederic Whitaker, Guy Wiggins, F. Ballard Williams); art critics and historians (J. Donald Adams, Royal Cortissoz, Boylan Fitz-Gerald, Emily Genauer, Lloyd Goodrich, Meyer Schapiro, Theodore Sizer); and galleries and museums (the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Milwaukee Art Institute, the Montclair Art Museum). Clark also corresponded with a number of professional organizations (Allied Artists of America, Inc., the American Watercolor Society, the Art Students League of New York, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, the National Academy of Design, the National Arts Club, the National Sculpture Society) as well as persons, publications, and organizations which reflected his interest in Asian art (Asia and the Americas, the Asia Institute, Pearl S. Buck, the East and West Association, Arthur Upham Pope). A selected index to the correspondence follows the box list.

A Subject file contains material relating to Clark's artwork and the professional organizations in which he was active. Artwork includes exhibition announcements, invitations, and catalogs (1916-1947) for various of Clark's shows as well as photographs and reproductions of his work. The Subject file also includes exhibition catalogs and organizational publications of the Allied Artists of America, the American Watercolor Society, and the National Academy of Design, of which Clark wrote a history. Also featured in this section is correspondence and printed material (1950-1957) relating to Clark's service on the Committee on Government and Art, which explored the role of the federal government in promoting the arts in the United States, and which published its findings in the Goodrich Report.

Writings includes manuscripts (holograph and typescript drafts) of Clark's essays, lecture notes, and speeches as well as published material. Essays include entries for Childe Hassam, Jonas Lie, and Frederick Waugh for the Dictionary of American Biography as well as a number of miscellaneous pieces which are arranged by title. Published Writings includes articles for Art in America, Scribner's Magazine, and The Studio as well as a number of exhibition catalogs for which Clark produced the text.

Memorabilia encompasses awards, membership cards, personal photographs, and printed material. The latter contains articles and newspaper clippings about Clark, miscellaneous exhibition catalogs, invitations, and publicity and reviews, mostly related to his History of the National Academy of Design, 1825-1953, published in 1954 by Columbia University Press.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Anderson, Karl.
Annigoni, Pietro.
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953.
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.
Clark, Eliot Candee, 1883-
Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948.
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978.
Fabri, Ralph, 1894-
Fitz-Gerald, Boylan.
Genauer, Emily, 1910-2002.
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987.
Hoffman, Harry.
Huntington, Anna Hyatt, 1876-1973.
Isenburger, Eric.
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974.
Leith-Ross, Harry, 1886-1973.
Lober, Georg John, 1892-1961.
Low, Will Hicok, 1853-1932.
Mason, Roy M., 1886-1972.
Pleissner, Ogden M.
Pope, Arthur Upham, 1881-1969.
Schapiro, Meyer, 1904-1996
Shinn, Everett, 1876-1953.
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967.
Waugh, Coulton, 1896-1973.
Whitaker, Frederic.
Wiggins, Guy C. (Guy Carleton), 1883-1962.
Williams, Frederick Ballard, 1871-1956.

Corporate Bodies

Allied Artists of America, Inc.
American Watercolor Society.
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)
Asia Institute.
Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.
East and West Association (U.S.)
Fine Arts Federation of New York.
National Academy of Design (U.S.)
National Arts Club (New York, N.Y.)
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)


Art and state -- United States.
Art critics -- United States.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Painting, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.
Manuscripts for publication.


Art critics.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Eliot Candee Clark Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Biographical material


Subject files



Selected index to correspondence


Selected index to correspondence