spacer Thomas B. Clarke Thomas B. Clarke
Art collector

Thomas B. Clarke, a lace and linen manufacturer in New York, began buying works of art in 1872. Within a decade he became this country's foremost collector of contemporary American art. Clarke was influential in myriad aspects of the New York art world, for he was treasurer of the National Society of Arts, chair of the Union League Club's art committee, president of the New York School of Applied Design for Women, and a founding member of both the National Sculpture Society and the National Arts Club.In the Land of Promise--Castle Garden at the National Academy of Design, where it won the National Academy's first Thomas B. Clarke Prize for Best American Figure Composition. As an expression of his gratitude, he painted this portrait of the collector.

Charles Frederick Ulrich (1858-1908)
Oil on panel, 1884
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Enlarged image

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