Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Clarke was a collector and patron of American artists.

From the description of Letters to Thomas B. Clarke from artists, 1883-1918. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122333574

Thomas B. Clarke (1848-1931) was a collector from New York, N.Y.

From the description of Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1936, bulk, 1883-1920. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 744425401

Collector; New York, N.Y.

From the description of Private art collection of Thomas B. Clarke, 1872-1879. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86132793

From the description of Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1930. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122545595

Thomas B. Clarke resided in New York City. He collected American paintings, Chinese porcelain, and other antiques. He served as president of the New York School of Applied Design for six years and was active in the Union League Club.

From the description of Scrapbooks and register, 1872-1879, 1915-1916, 1921-1922. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 84666360

Montgomery Schuyler (1843-1914) was an architectural critic and collector from New York, N.Y.

There is no known relationship between he and Rev. Dr. Montgomery Schuyler (1814-1896) from St. Louis, Mo.

From the description of Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 636355059

Montgomery Schuyler (1843-1914) was an architectural critic and collector from New York, N.Y.

There is no known relationship between he and Rev. Dr. Montgomery Schuyler (1814-1896) from St. Louis, Mo.

From the description of Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 669909553

Montgomery Schuyler (1843-1914) was an architectural critic and collector from New York, N.Y.

There is no known relationship between he and Rev. Dr. Montgomery Schuyler (1814-1896) from St. Louis, Mo.

From the description of Letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122389484

Thomas Benedict Clarke (1848-1931) was a New York prosperous merchant who began collecting American art in the 1870s. Over the course of the next 20 years he actively traded, loaned, and sold artwork through dealers in New York City, outlets in Worcester, Cincinnati and St. Louis, and with artists. He also shared his collection through public and private exhibitions in New York and elsewhere. He earned praise from the critics for being the foremost patron of American painters during the late 1800s and was praised by many painters for his attention to American artists at a time when they considered themselves neglected or ignored.

Hudson River School painter Homer Dodge Martin (1836-1897) was one of the artists for whom Clarke acted as patron. Martin studied briefly with James Hart and spent his summers during the 1860s sketching in the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the White Mountains and then painted landscapes from the sketches he made at his studio in New York City's Tenth Street Studio Building.

In 1876 he took his first trip to Europe and from 1882-1886 lived in Normandy, France. There he was influenced both by the Barbizon school of painting and the Impressionists and his painting took on darker, more melancholy tones.

By 1887 Martin had returned to New York and in 1893 moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. During the 1890s Martin was plagued by ill health and financial struggles. A dead optic nerve in one eye and a cataract in the other, left him close to blindness when he died in February 1897. At the time of his death two of his greatest paintings, Westchester Hills (circa 1887) and Harp of the Winds (1895), remained unsold and another, Adirondack Scenery (1895) had been bought by Clarke for circa $400.

In 1890, Clarke had dissolved his dry-goods partnership, Clarke & King, and announced that he would no longer deal in American pictures except as an agent for George Inness. Clarke opened a showroom known as "Art House" in 1891 on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and began dealing primarily in Oriental porcelains and Greek antiquities. The Martin letters are one source of evidence that Clarke did, however, continue to deal in American art as a private agent through Macbeth Gallery and others. A letter written on Clarke's behalf to Martin dated April 17, 1896, stated that he had contacted Samuel P. Avery on Martin's behalf, and suggested that he consign his paintings to Avery, rather than having Clarke promote them himself.

In January 1899 Clarke announced that he would dispose of his American pictures at auction following a week long exhibition at the American Art Association. In February 1899, 7 of the 10 Homer Martin paintings in Clarke's possession were sold at that auction, including Adirondack Scenery for $5500. Within two years of his death, Martin's Harp of the Winds was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to the Metropolitan Museum, Martin's work can be found in other important American museums including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1874 and was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists.

From the guide to the Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Thomas Benedict Clarke (1848-1931) was a prominent New York businessman and one of the first major collectors of contemporary American paintings in the 1870s-1880s. He purchased his first painting in 1872 and eventually amassed one of the largest private collections of American art at the turn of the century.

After retiring from the business world, Clarke served as President of the New York School of Applied Design for Women, Treasurer of the National Society of Arts, and Chairman of the House Committee of the Union League Club. He was a founding member of the National Sculpture Society and National Arts Club, and founded the Clarke Prize of the National Academy of Design in 1883. He was also a member of several New York gentlemen's clubs, including the Century, Lotos, Lamb, and Manhattan Clubs.

In 1890, Clarke announced he would no longer officially acquire or deal in works of art, except as an agent for his friend, George Inness. Concentrating his attentions on a new venture, in 1891, he opened "Art House" off of Fifth Avenue in New York City, a showcase for English furniture, Oriental porcelains, and Continental antiquities. In 1899, he announced he would be putting his collection of 375 American paintings up for sale during a landmark, week-long auction at the American Art Association. Included in the sale were 32 works by George Inness and 30 works by Winslow Homer.

In 1912, Clarke returned to active art collecting, this time focusing his energies on building a collection of Colonial American art.

From the guide to the Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1936, bulk 1883-1920, (Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Park, Lawrence, 1873-1924. Papers, 1910-1924. Gadsden Public Library
creatorOf Bowdoin, William G. (William Goodrich), 1861-1947. William G. Bowdoin letters, 1917-1922. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1909 Dec. 22. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Correspondence, 1906 Oct. 23, 25, 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to Belle Greene, 1909 Dec. 20. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Newton, Richard Heber, 1840-1914. R. Heber Newton collection, 1848-1914. New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to J.P. Morgan, 1917 Jan. 5. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to Belle Greene, 1916 May 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1909 Dec. 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Letters to Thomas B. Clarke from artists, 1883-1918. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1936, bulk 1883-1920 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn [Artists at a banquet for Harry Siddons Mowbray] [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Rutledge, Anna Wells. Anna Wells Rutledge papers, 1940-1961. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Letter from Gorer, 1909 Dec. 27. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Als, 1913 July 19. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1910 Nov. 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1930. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917. Albert Pinkham Ryder letter to Thomas B. Clarke, [1885 April 9?]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Receipted bills, 1911 July 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Private art collection of Thomas B. Clarke, 1872-1879. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to Belle Greene, 1916 May 9. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Correspondence, Dec. 1910-Jan. 1911. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Bushell, Stephen W. (Stephen Wootton), 1844-1908. Glass plate negatives of illustrations for catalog of Pierpont Morgan's collection of Chinese porcelains [photograph]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Correspondence, 1910 Feb. 14, 15, 18. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1911 June 1. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Scrapbooks and register, 1872-1879, 1915-1916, 1921-1922. Winterthur Library
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1863-1945. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn John Jay Chapman papers, 1841-1940. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Als, 1910 July 15. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1910 May 20. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1877-1945. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to Belle Greene, 1915 June 9. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Thomas B. Clarke letters from or about Homer Dodge Martin, 1893-1897. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Autograph letter signed : to Mr. Laffan, 1906 Oct. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Charles M. Kurtz papers, 1843-1990, bulk 1884-1909 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Undated Als to Pierpont Morgan, n.d. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Thomas Benedict Clarke scrapbooks, 1880-1936, bulk, 1883-1920. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1931. Letter signed : from A C Gleason to Belle Greene, 1910 Feb. 27. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer and Homer family papers, 1846-1954. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Winslow Homer collection, 1863, 1877-1945 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Greene, Belle da Costa. Copy of letter : from Belle Greene, 1911 July 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer and Homer family papers from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1846-1954. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. Winslow Homer collection, 1863, 1877-1945. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barye, Antoine-Louis, 1796-1875. person
associatedWith Bowdoin, William G. (William Goodrich), 1861-1947. person
associatedWith Century Association (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933 person
associatedWith Clarke, Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict), 1848-1981 person
associatedWith Daly, Augustin, 1838-1899. person
associatedWith Exposition universelle internationale de 1900 (Paris, France) corporateBody
associatedWith Greene, Belle da Costa, person
associatedWith Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910. person
associatedWith Inness, George, 1825-1894. person
associatedWith Kost, Frederick W., 1861-1923. person
associatedWith Kurtz, Charles M. person
associatedWith Lambs (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lathrop, Francis, 1849-1909. person
associatedWith Lincoln Club (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Macbeth, William, 1851-1917. person
associatedWith Martin, Homer Dodge, 1836-1897. person
associatedWith Merchants Club (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912. person
associatedWith Moeller, Louis, 1855-1930. person
associatedWith Moran, Thomas, 1837-1926. person
associatedWith Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, person
associatedWith Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943, person
associatedWith Murphy, John Francis, 1853-1921. person
associatedWith National Academy of Design (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Newton, Richard Heber, 1840-1914. person
associatedWith Palmer, Walter Launt, 1854-1932. person
associatedWith Park, Lawrence, 1873-1924. person
associatedWith Richards, T. Addison (Thomas Addison), 1820-1900. person
associatedWith Rutledge, Anna Wells. person
associatedWith Ryder, Albert Pinkham, 1847-1917. person
associatedWith Schuyler, Montgomery, 1843-1914. person
associatedWith Smyth, Frederick, 1932-1900. person
associatedWith Tryon, Dwight William, 1849-1925. person
associatedWith Union League Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Vereshchagin, Vasiliĭ Vasiľevich, 1842-1904. person
associatedWith Vereshchagin, Vasili Vasilevich, 1842-1904 person
associatedWith Watrous, Harry W. (Harry Willson), 1857-1940. person
associatedWith Weir, John F. (John Ferguson), 1841-1926. person
associatedWith World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
New York (State)--New York
Subject
Rugs--Collectors and collecting
Art patrons
Painting, American--Exhibitions
Collectors and collecting
Art dealers--New York (State)--New York
exhibition catalogs
Art--Collectors and collecting
Art--Economic aspects
Porcelain--Collectors and collecting
Collectors and collecting--New York (State)--New York
collectors
Textile fabrics--Collectors and collecting
Painters
Portrait painting, American--Photographs
Art patrons--New York (State)--New York
Painting--Private collections
Art dealers
Occupation
Art collectors
Function

Person

Birth 1848

Death 1931

Americans

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w68p61bc

Ark ID: w68p61bc

SNAC ID: 11342535