CLAUDE CLARK'S BIOGRAPHY


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CLAUDE CLARK

By
Rev. Daima M. Clark PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

 

Claude Clark the second eldest child [that lived] in a family of 10 [that survived from 14], was born November 11, 1915 in Rockingham , GA., to John Henry [Clark] Sr. and Estelle [Graham]. In 1923 after struggling as a tenant farmer trying to support his growing family, Claude's father moved his family to Manyunk, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia where Claude received his elementary and high school training. His family lived on the canal in this small community of predominantly European immigrants; one Chinese family and 30 African American families. Young Claude's mother helped him overcome some of his shyness by teaching him to recite little ditties.

When he and his older brother, John, were in Jr. High school, the pastor of the small Josie B. Hurd A.M.E. Church came to the Clark home early before Sunday School on Sundays to help the two brothers chop wood for their mother's cook stove so the boys could attend Sunday School. Teaching and mentoring of his art by his art teacher in Junior High plus encouragement from his Sunday School teacher and the pastor's occasional commentaries during Church Service on the art work Claude performed while in Sunday School, probably helped Clark decide on a career as artist instead of a poet. PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

Toward the end of his senior year in Senior High, Claude's classmates who majored in art told him they would not compete for the scholarship to an Art School because they had not worked for it; but he did. Clark did all of the artwork for student events as well as contributed poems and essays to the student publication, THE WISSAHICKON. Clark's senior high art instructor advised him to apply to Wilberforce College in Wilberforce, Ohio because "they are nice people." Clark told her he wanted to attend an art school where he could learn more about art . She told him she would not recommend him for the scholarship, that he could go over her head. Clark approached the principal who awarded him the scholarship to The Penna. School of Industrial Arts, where he matriculated from 1935 to '39.

From 1939-1942 Clark worked on the WPA (Works Public Administration) in the Graphic Arts (printmaking) division and he painted after hours in a studio he shared with Raymond Steth, after hours. His goal was to help the common man in whatever medium of expression he chose.

From 1939 to 1944 Clark was exposed to African images placed side by side with modern master European painters at the Barnes Foundation. The influence of traditional African images upon modern European masters was inescapable. A door at the Foundation from the Ivory Coast was carved in the 16th Century. Clark could not help but take pride in the knowledge of Africa's worldwide influence upon the arts.

When he went to Talladega College, Talldega, Alabama (1948 - 1955), Clark built an art department, teaching students traditional European and African Art forms. While working at Sacramento State College toward his B.A. degree (1956 to '58) Clark was paid to teach art history to students who were studying for their teaching credentials at Sacramento State. In 1962 Clark earned his MA from the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley. In 1968 he was hired to teach studio art courses; courses in African and Afro-American Art history at Merritt College in Oakland until his retirement in 1981. He designed and wrote the first curriculum for African and African American Art, A BLACK ART PERSPECTIVE, A Black Teacher's Guide To A Black Visual Art Curriculum, 1970. PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

Throughout his career Clark chose to express himself in the culture he knew best which was the folkways in which he was nurtured in America and the parallel low-waged and no-waged peoples in the Caribbean with whom he readily identified: notably Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands; and later West Africa.

Claude Clark leaves a legacy of great art which speaks on behalf of and to the struggling masses. His work will always hold its own among America's great colorists. It is hoped his legacy will be remembered by this nation for many decades.

Claude Clark is survived by his wife: Daima; son, Claude Lockhart; daughter, Alice T'Ofori-Atta; two sisters: Lera Clark and Estelle Mack of Philadelphia; three brothers: David and Jonathon of Philadelpia, James of South Carolina; three grand children and a host of nephews, nieces and cousins.

CLAUDE LOCKHART CLARK

By
Claude Lockhart Clark

 

The son Claude Lockhart Clark's mission has been instrumental in helping to create a climate for appreciation, greater cultural exchange and diversity in art. He has provided information resources concerning an African cultural heritage in Africa and Diaspora.

As a consultant for the Antropology Department - California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco California, Clark demonstrated African woodcarving principles over a 10 year period spanning from 1982 to 1992. In March of 1992 he was instumental in showing a connection between his family memorial stools and family lineage. This later resulted in a biography concerning his work titled - "Honoring The Ancestors": The Woodcarvings of Claude Lockhart Clark, by June Anderson, A Publication of California Academy of Sciences - 1997.

At the National Conference of Art in Accra and Kumasi Ghana, 2002; Clark presented a paper titled "Spirituality and African Images". This event was sponsored by the Ghana Chapter of NCA.

THE CLAUDE CLARK ART GALLERY CENTER --- Claude Clark and Claude Lockhart Clark are father and son African American artists. The father's work consist of paintings and the son is a sculptor. Both artists are printmakers and graphic artists. Their artwork is about the common man and African exsperience.

In 1985 and 1986 Clark participated in two symposiums sponsored by the Association for the Study Of Classical African Civilization. In Chicago Clark presented a paper titled, "Parrallels Between Egyptian Art And Southwestern Nigerian Art". Presentation was published with a group of essays in book titled "Kemet and The African Worldview"; 1986. Publication was edited by Maulana Karenga and Jacob H. Carruthers.

"African Metropolis" an Internet gateway for African and Diaspora resources was published by Clark in fall of 1997. "Traditional African Art", an internet database, was published February 2002. During the summer of 2007 an e-commerce web site for ClaudeClark.com openned to the public - "ClaudeClarkArtist.com".

In 1969 Clark co-authored with his father a teacher's manual titled, "A Black Art Perspective: A Black Teacher's Guide To A Black Art Curriculum", published by Merritt College in 1970. The younger Clark was resposible for writing the African section.

THE CLAUDE LOCKHART CLARK ART FORUM ---- is (first and foremost) a master woodcarver - , graphic artist, painter, writer, family archivist, printmaker, photographer and webmaster. His artwork is about his family heritage; the African and Diaspora exsperience. This link will take you to my - Yahoo! 360 Forum - on the world wide web.


 

 

 

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