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William Clark

William Clark
George Catlin, 26 Jul 1796 - 23 Dec 1872
William Clark, 1 Aug 1770 - 1 Sep 1838
Oil on canvas
72.4 x 59.7cm (28 1/2 x 23 1/2")
Frame: 87.9 x 75.6 x 8.3cm (34 5/8 x 29 3/4 x 3 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
This portrait shows William Clark stoutly respectable as the governor of the Missouri Territory, concerned with organizing the government, normalizing relations with Indian tribes, and settling the vast area of the trans-Mississippi West. But Clark had cut a far different figure when he first entered the territory in 1804 as the co-leader, with Meriwether Lewis, of the government expedition that bore their names. Then, Clark was only briefly removed from an army career spent fighting Indians in the border wars that followed the end of the American Revolution. Clark provided the expedition with much-needed practical savvy about the logistical and political obstacles it faced as it trekked northwest to the Continental Divide and then to the Pacific Ocean. The speed with which Clark went from scout to governor embodied the speed with which the United States explored and settled western lands.
Julia Clark Voorhis [1842-1922], St. Louis and New York, granddaughter of sitter; her daughter Eleanor Clark Voorhis [1863-1919]; (Kennedy Galleries); purchased July 20, 1965 by Harold McCracken, Cody, Wyoming; purchased 1971 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 124
United States\Missouri\Saint Louis City\Saint Louis