Clark, Robert Sterling, 1877-1956

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1877-06-25
Death 1956-12-29

Biographical notes:

Born in 1877, Robert Sterling Clark, along with his three brothers, was heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Their father, Alfred Corning Clark, was the son of Edward Corning Clark, Isaac Singer's business partner. RSC attended Yale University and graduated in 1899 with a degree in engineering. He joined the army and his service during the Boxer Rebellion earned him the commission of first lieutenant. In 1908, RSC undertook an expedition to the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces in a remote area of northern China. He intended to carry out ethnographic and zoological research, as well as conduct surveys and create maps. His partner in this undertaking was Arthur de Carle Sowerby. Sowerby, in addition to being a naturalist, explorer, artist and editor, collected specimens for the British Museum and other museums of natural history in the United States and China. The expedition came to an abrupt end when Hazrat Ali, their translator and surveyor, was murdered.

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Reading Library, 1707-1961. (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263962247

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Diaries Series, 1923-1949. (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263440380

Born in 1877, Robert Sterling Clark, along with his three brothers, was heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Their father, Alfred Corning Clark, was the son of Edward Corning Clark, Isaac Singer's business partner. RSC attended Yale University and graduated in 1899 with a degree in engineering. He joined the army and his service during the Boxer Rebellion earned him the commission of first lieutenant. In 1908, RSC undertook an expedition to the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces in a remote area of northern China. In 1909 RSC moved to Paris and began collecting art. He made his first purchases in 1912 and was initially attracted primarily to Dutch, Flemish and Italian old masters. Soon, his interests expanded to include silver, prints and drawings, rare books, and more contemporary artists such as Renoir, Degas, Sargent and Homer. During this time RSC met Francine Clary, a former actress with the Comedie Francaise. Francine and RSC began seeing one another in 1910, but didn't marry until 1919. Their relationship was a source of tension with RSC's family and eventually led to a rift between him and his brother, Stephen. RSC also had a strong interest in Horse Breading. RSC owned large operations that bred, raised and trained racehorses, first in Belgium and then in Virginia. In 1951, his horse, Never Say Die, won the Epsom Derby, the first American-bred horse ever to do so. After considering various options for the eventual disposition of their artworks and objects, including donation to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and founding a museum in New York City, RSC and Francine decided to locate their collections in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Beginning in 1950 and continuing through RSC's death late in 1956, their lives were focused on building the Institute, both physically and administratively.

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Personal Series, 1901-1957 (bulk 1920-1957) (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263436822

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Images Series, 1899-1953 (bulk 1935-1945) (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263440425

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Correspondence Series, 1901-1957 (bulk 1923-1956). (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263435909

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Financial Series, 1903-1955 (bulk 1921-1954) (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263440407

From the description of Sterling and Francine Clark Papers: Realia Series, 1877-1956. (Art Center College of Design, James L Fogg Library). WorldCat record id: 263440479

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63206d9
Ark ID:
w63206d9
SNAC ID:
65571972

Subjects:

  • Art, French--20th century
  • Horses--Breeding
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Williams College
  • Horses--Training
  • Silver bowls
  • Luggage
  • Book collecting
  • Silver saltcellars
  • International economic relations--20th century
  • World politics--1900-1945
  • Military uniforms
  • Tanagra figurines
  • Horses--Pedigrees
  • Libraries--History
  • Rubbing
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Art dealers
  • Race horses--Breeding
  • Horse farms
  • Architecture, Domestic
  • Art--Collectors and collecting
  • Silver coffeepots
  • Saddlery
  • Race horses--Epsom
  • Race horses
  • China--Politics and government--20th century
  • China--History--Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901
  • Libraries--History--20th century
  • Porcelain
  • Silver plated ware
  • Sargent, John Singer--1856-1925
  • Art, American--20th century
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Animal pedigrees
  • Silverwork
  • Gold standard--History--20th century
  • Surveying
  • Trusts and trustees
  • Stock exchanges
  • Silver servers
  • Silver sugar bowls
  • Libraries
  • Horse racing
  • Derby (Horse race)
  • Art, American--19th century
  • Racehorse trainers
  • Gold standard
  • Decorative art
  • Lusitania (Steamship)
  • Armory Show (1913 : New York, N.Y.)
  • Horses
  • Cooking
  • Horsemanship
  • Astronomy
  • Firearms
  • Art, French--19th century
  • Bondholders
  • Cooking, French
  • Municipal bonds
  • Presidents--Election
  • Real estate investment
  • Porcelain--Collectors and collecting

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • France--Paris (as recorded)
  • America (as recorded)
  • Kentucky (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • Paris (France) (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Upperville (Va.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Williamstown (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • France--Paris (as recorded)
  • Upperville (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Upperville (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Belgium (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • Cooperstown (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Cooperstown (N.Y.) (as recorded)