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Alson Skinner Clark

Alson Skinner Clark


Nationality: American

One of California's most well-known painters, Alson Skinner Clark specialized in Tonalist portraits and figure studies as well as in brighter Impressionist landscapes. He trained assiduously and broadly, studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League in New York with William Merritt Chase and Frank Duveneck, and the Académie Carmen in Paris with James McNeill Whistler. In 1901, Clark opened a studio in Watertown, New York, and he mounted a successful exhibition in Chicago in 1903, which funded his travels throughout Canada and Europe over the next decade.

Clark's early Impressionist landscapes evince his interest in architecture, especially industrial structures like railroads, bridges, and factories. It was no surprise, therefore, that the building of the Panama Canal in 1913 would prompt veteran traveler Clark to venture to South America to capture this historic moment. Gaining access to the construction site, he painted dozens of landscapes, eighteen of which were subsequently exhibited in a solo room at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where Clark won a bronze medal.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Diego Museum of Art; and Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale, are among the notable institutions showcasing Clark's paintings.

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