A landscape painter, jeweler and designer of patterns for silversmiths, he was born on September 22, 1879 in Birmingham, England. Shortly after his birth he was brought ot the U.S. and grew up in the Midwest.
Clarke became interested in art during his high school years, concentrating on metal crafts and jewelry design during his early career. After his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, he worked as a jeweler on State Street in Chicago, selling his work through major department stores.
While based in Chicago, he took many trips to California, where he painted and visited relatives. In the 1940s he retired to La Jolla and lived there until his death on December 30, 1958.
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