Adèle Goodman Clark was born on September 27, 1882, in Montgomery, Alabama, and was the daughter of Robert Clark and Estelle Goodman Clark. During her childhood her family moved several times, to Virginia, to Mississippi, back to Alabama, and then to Louisiana.
After her family settled in Richmond about 1894, she enrolled in Virginia Randolph Ellett's school (later Saint Catherine's School). She graduated in 1901, studied art privately with Lily M. Logan and at the Art Club of Richmond, and in 1906 received a scholarship to the Chase School of Art (later the New York School of Art and eventually the Parsons School of Design), where she studied with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri.
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