The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings
Michael Conforti, James A. Ganz, Neil Harris, Sarah Lees, and Gilbert T. Vincent
With additional contributions by Daniel Cohen-McFall, Mari Yoko Hara, Susannah Maurer, Kathleen M. Morris, Kathryn Price, Richard Rand, and Marc Simpson
Sterling and Stephen Clark, brothers and heirs to the Singer sewing machine fortune, amassed two of the most important art collections of the early twentieth century, greatly developing America’s taste for Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early modern painting.
Yet while they shared a love for great art, the brothers’ preferences and collecting habits varied considerably. Sterling was an astute self-taught private collector whose French Impressionist masterpieces, including thirty-nine Renoirs and works by such American artists as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Remington, and Mary Cassatt, went on to form the distinguished collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Stephen, an influential businessman and museum trustee, acquired landmark modern works by such masters as Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Vincent van Gogh, donating many of them to public institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Though quite close during their youth, the brothers clashed as adults, eventually severing all ties with each another.
This meticulously researched and handsomely produced volume allows for these two superlative collections to be examined together for the first time. Detailed biographical essays are complemented by discussions of specific artists and paintings that Sterling and Stephen collected, offering new insights into the brothers’ personal lives and public profiles and situating them within the history of American museums and philanthropy. Featuring more than three hundred archival photographs and illustrations of the works from their collections, the book also includes an illustrated chronology and a previously unpublished checklist of works purchased by these two influential yet relatively unknown collectors.
149 color, 64 quadratone, and 130 halftone illustrations
ISBN 0-300-11619-5 (hardcover)