Alson Clark (1876-1949)
Alson Clark was born to wealthy parents in Chicago, Illinois, in 1876. His parents encouraged his artistic talents, and Clark was afforded an excellent education, which included classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League in New York, and the Chase Summer School of Art in Shinnecock.
Often an expatriate, Clark left for Paris in 1898, where he studied under the demanding James McNeill Whistler. In 1901, Clark returned to America and married a woman who had once been his model. From 1902 until the advent of World War I in 1914, Clark and his bride traveled extensively throughout Europe, while calling Paris home. Throughout this time, Clark was exhibiting and selling his works quite successfully at venues such as the National Academy of Design, the Paris Salon, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Pennsylvania Academy.
Having enlisted in the Navy at the age of 41, Clark was put in to service as a military aerial photographer. Following his service, and with hearing complications from his military post, the Clarks sought the warm, dry climate of southern California in 1919, ultimately settling in Pasadena. It was here that Alson Clark renewed a friendship with Guy Rose, with whom he’d teach at the Stickney Memorial School of Art, and in 1921, when Rose suffered a stroke Clark became the director of that school. In that same year, Clark enjoyed his first one-man show at the prestigious Stendahl Galleries in Los Angeles.
Unswayed by modernism, Alson Clark continued to paint with his own impressionistic vision throughout his life. Following a stroke, Clark died in Pasadena in March, 1949.