Clark, Anthony M., 1923-1976

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Anthony M. Clark (1923-1976) was an art historian, artist, collector, and museum professional. His chief interest was eighteenth-century Rome.

Clark was born October 12, 1923, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard University in 1945 with a degree in fine arts. From 1945 to 1949, he worked as a painter in New York City.

In 1950, Clark lectured on contemporary New York painting as part of a Harvard-run seminar in Salzburg, Austria. He then traveled throughout Europe, eventually working with the Byzantine Institute in Istanbul, excavating, cleaning, and restoring frescoes of Kariye Mosque (also known as Chora Church) and the inlaid floor of Zeyrek Mosque (the Monastery of the Pantokrator) in 1954.

In 1955, Clark became the first secretary to the museum of the Rhode Island School of Design under Director John Maxon. He served there in this capacity and as director of publications until 1959. From 1959 to 1961, Clark was one of the first two David E. Finley Fellows at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. He spent the fellowship in Rome, Italy.

Clark was appointed curator of paintings and sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1961 and became director in 1963. In 1973, he became curator of European painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under Director Thomas Hoving. He resigned from the museum in protest in 1975 citing issues with museum administration. His resignation followed that of curator John Walsh, Jr.

From 1975 to 1976, Clark was a professor at both New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. At the time of his death on November 22, 1976, he was a resident at the American Academy in Rome (AAR), working on a survey of Roman baroque painting supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Clark amassed a significant collection of eighteenth-century Roman paintings, as well as drawings, pottery, coins, and objects. A portion of his eighteenth-century paintings collection was sold to support the posthumous publication of his books-in-progress (including Pompeo Batoni: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings [1985]) and to help establish a fellowship in Renaissance and early modern studies (now known as the AAR's Anthony M. Clark Rome Prize).

Clark's will dictated that certain works be donated to a suitable museum and so its executors bequeathed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art 378 old master drawings, 204 prints, 114 coins, medals, and plaquettes, 24 sculptures, and 13 miscellaneous objects from his estate, all indicative of his interest in Roman life.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006. Harvard University Art Museum
creatorOf Anthony M. Clark papers, 1929-1976 Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Anthony M. Clark archive National Gallery of Art Library
referencedIn Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995 person
associatedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard University person
employeeOf Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) person
employeeOf Minneapolis Institute of Art corporateBody
employeeOf Rhode Island School of Design corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Philadelphia PA US
Rhode Island RI US
New York City NY US
Rome 07 IT
Minneapolis MN US
Art, Roman
Art Study and teaching 20th century
Art historians
Art museum curators
Art museum directors


Birth 1923-10-12

Death 1976-11-22



Ark ID: w68m837x

SNAC ID: 88103575