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Ralph E. Clarkson Papers

A work made of photographs, correspondence and printed papers..

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  • A work made of photographs, correspondence and printed papers..




Ralph Elmer Clarkson (1961-1942)

About this artwork

Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts on August 3, 1861, artist and educator Ralph Elmer Clarkson played an important role in the development of Chicago’s artistic establishment at the turn of the 19th century. After several years working in New York, Paris and Italy, Clarkson settled in Chicago in 1896. While living in Chicago, Clarkson taught painting at the School of the Art Institute and was the president of several notable arts organizations including the Chicago Society of Artists, the Art Commission of Chicago, and the Art Commission of the state of Illinois. Clarkson was also active in the Cliff Dwellers club, the Illinois Athletic Club and the Eagle’s Nest Camp. This collection sketches a broad view of the career of Ralph E. Clarkson (1861–1942), including photographs, printed materials, manuscripts and correspondence. Highlights include photographs of many of Clarkson’s artworks, clippings relating to the life of Lorado Taft, Clarkson’s colleague, and letters regarding his works and other social matters.

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Ralph Elmer Clarkson


Ralph E. Clarkson Papers

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1900–1941


Photographs, correspondence and printed papers.


H.: 15.3 cm (6 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Frank Wadsworth, 2005.

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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