Oil on masonite, 1946. 430x330 mm; 17x13 inches. Signed in oil, lower right.
Provenance: estate of the artist, Oakland, CA; private collection, New York, acquired at Swann Galleries, February 23, 2010.
Claude Clark was an innovative painter and printmaker whose family moved from Alabama to Philadelphia in 1923. After winning a four-year scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, he was supported by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, and in 1944, his painting Cutting Pattern was the second work by an African-American artist accepted into the Barnes Foundation, after one by Horace Pippin. Clark was a colleague of Dox Thrash and Raymond Steth in the Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop of the WPA from 1939-1942, where he helped develop carborundum etching. He returned to his native Alabama to give an art workshop at Talladega College, AL in 1949. He stayed and eventually created the art department at the school, where he taught until 1955. His paintings and prints are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC and the de Young Museum, San Francisco. Messenger, p. 48.