A Finding Aid to the Alson Skinner Clark Papers, 1870-1971, bulk 1890-1940, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.claralso
Creators:
Clark, Alson Skinner, 1876-1949
Dates:
1870-1971
bulk 1890-1940
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
7.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter and muralist Alson Skinner Clark measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1870 to 1971, with the bulk of the material from 1890 to 1940. Clark's career is documented through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, galleries, and dealers; eleven diaries by the artist as well as 16 by his wife Medora Clark; stories and essays by Medora; financial records and business files of art and civilian concerns; assorted printed material including exhibition catalogs and announcements, maps, news clippings (singly and in scrapbooks), advertisements, and ephemera; and photographs of the artist, his friends and family, studio, travels, and artwork.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and muralist Alson Skinner Clark measure 7.2 linear feet and date from 1870 to 1971, with the bulk of the material from 1890 to 1940. Clark's career is documented through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, galleries, and dealers; eleven diaries by the artist as well as 16 by his wife Medora Clark; stories and essays by Medora; financial records and business files of art and civilian concerns; assorted printed material including exhibition catalogs and announcements, maps, news clippings (singly and in scrapbooks), advertisements, and ephemera; and photographs of the artist, his friends and family, studio, travels, and artwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1890-1958 (Box 1; 6 folders)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-1962 (Boxes 1-2; 1.7 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Diaries, 1889-1922 (Boxes 2-4; 1.5 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Writings, circa 1900-1962 (Boxes 4-5; 0.9 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Personal Business Records, 1889-1930 (Boxes 5, 8; 0.7 linear feet)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, 1890-1971 (Boxes 5-6; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 7: Artwork, circa 1910-1920 (Box 6; 2 folders)
  • Series 8: Photographs, circa 1885-1935 (Boxes 6, 8, 9; 1.6 linear feet)
  • Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1902-1955 (Boxes 7, 8; 0.5 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949) was a painter and muralist who travelled and worked in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Panama, and the United States, ultimately settling in southern California.
Clark was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began training in 1891 at the age of 11 at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1896 he studied under William Merritt Chase at the Art Students' League of New York and briefly at the Chase School of Art before moving to Paris to train with James Abbott McNeill Whistler at the Academia Carmen in 1898. Alongside his wife, Medora (married 1902), Clark travelled extensively, painting the landscapes and urban activity of Chicago, New York, Quebec, France, Dalmatia, and Spain.
In 1913, Clark journeyed to Panama to document the construction of the canal, and in 1919, after serving as a military photographer in World War I, he settled in Pasadena, California, where he adopted the landscapes and colonial architecture of Mexico and the American West as subjects en plein air. It was during this time that Clark began to take on work as a muralist, accepting commissions from the local bank and theatre while also embarking on a teaching career at Occidental College and eventually the Stickney Memorial School of Fine Arts, where he served as director.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared in 2015 by intern Kimberley Henze.
Author
Kimberley Henze
Sponsor
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The 1897 diary, sales notebook, glass negatives, and albums of negatives were donated in 1986 by Joseph Moure, an art historian who purchased the material from occupants of Clark's former studio. The remainder was donated by Clark's son, Alson Clark, in 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1997 and by Clark's grandniece, Deborah Clark, in 2006.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Alson Skinner Clark papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donors have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Alson Skinner Clark papers, 1870-1962, bulk 1890-1940. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscape painting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clark, Medora Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/