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 Clarence Holbrook Carter  (1904 - 2000)

About: Clarence Holbrook Carter
 

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Lived/Active: Ohio/New Jersey      Known for: Modernist genre and landscape painting-watercolor, illustration

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An example of work by Clarence Holbrook Carter
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Clarence Holbrook Carter (b. March 26, 1904-died June 4, 2000)

A major watercolorist in the Cleveland, Ohio area in the early 20th century as well as teacher, Clarence Carter was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and received recognition for his art talent beginning with his childhood.

From 1923 to 1927, he enrolled in the Cleveland School of Art* and earned key patronage from William Millikin, local arts supporter who arranged for Carter to study in Italy with Hans Hofmann in 1927.  From 1929 to 1937, Carter taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a job arranged by Millikin.  From 1937 to 1938, he was Director of the Federal Art Project* for Northeastern Ohio, and from 1938 to 1944, he taught at the Carnegie Institute.  He also served as guest instructor at various institutions including the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts* (1949), Lehigh University (1954), Ohio University (1955), Atlanta Art institute (1957), Lafayette College (1961), and the University of Iowa (1970).

Carter was a member of the American Water Color Society* and in 1962, served as Vice President.  He used a watercolor technique that involved precise use of form, quick color washes and little retouching.

Source:
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx


Biography from Williams American Art Galleries:
Clarence Holbrook Carter is a regionalist painter.

Studied:
Cleveland School of Art, 1923-1927
Capri, Italy, with Hans Hofmann, summer 1927

Member:
Associate member of the National Academy of Design
Delaware Valley Art Association (pres., 1962-1963)
American Watercolor Society (board of directors, 1961-1962; vice-pres., 1962)

Work:
Ackland Art Museum, University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Allentown Museum of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York
Baukunst, Cologne, Germany
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Holland
The Brooklyn Museum, New York
Butler Institute of Arts
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Columbus Museum of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Davidson College Art Gallery, Davidson, North Carolina
Dudley Peter Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Michigan
Macedonia Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Nelson Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, Missouri
The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
Northeast Ohio Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio
Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida
Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Schumacher Gallery, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Sheldon Swope Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana
Smithsonian, Washington, D. C.
Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts
Stanford University Museum of Art, Stanford, Connecticut
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park
University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin
University of Oklahoma Art Museum at Norman
University Art Gallery, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg
Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
College of Wooster Art Center, Wooster, Ohio
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
                
Exhibited:                 
Cleveland Arts & Crafts, 1927-39 (prizes)                 
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1929-44                 
Corcoran Gallery, 1930-49                 
Butler (Ohio) Institute of American Art (prizes, 1937, 1940, 1943, 1946)                 
Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco, 1939                 
Carnegie Institute (prizes, 1941, 1943-44; solo 1940)                 
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (solo 1957)                 
Allentown Art Museum (solo 1959)                 
de Young Memorial Museum                 
California Palace of the Legion of Honor                 
Whitney Museum of American Art                 
Art Institute of Chicago                 
Museum of Modern Art                 
Metropolitan Museum of Art                 
Brooklyn Museum                 
Dallas Museum of Fine Art                 
Cleveland Museum of Art                 
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts                 
Architectural League                 
American Artists for Victory                 
National Arts Club                 
Albright Art Gallery                 
Finley Gallery (solo)                 
Milwaukee Art Institute (solo 1934)                 
Suffolk Museum, Stony Brook, New York, (solo 1948)                 
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Galleries, New York City                 
Detroit Art Institute                 
Toledo Museum of Art                 
Nebraska Art Association                 
W.R. Nelson Gallery of Art                 
Swope Gallery of Art                 
Cleveland Art Center, Cleveland, Ohio (solos 1929, 1948)                 
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York (solos 1930, 1951, 1963)                 
Ferargil Galleries, New York (solos 1939, 1941)                 
Little Gallery, Cleveland College, Ohio (solo 1937)                 
Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio (solo 1940)                 
Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio (solo 1940)                 
Chautaugua Gallery of Art, Chautauqua, New York (solo 1943)                 
Findlay Galleries, Chicago, Illinois (solo 1945)                 
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York (solo 1947)                 
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota (solo 1949)                 
Allen R. Hite Art Institute, Univ. of Louisville, Kentucky (solo 1950)
U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center, Portsmouth, Ohio (solos 1950, 1952)                 
Art Club, St. Petersburg, Florida (solo 1952)                                                                            
Hendrik-Hobbelink-Kaastra Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida (solo 1957)                                                                                            
D’Arcy Galleries, New York (solo 1961)
 
References:
_____, Coming Home: American Paintings 1930-1950 from the Schoen Collection
 _____,  New York World’s Fair
Baigell, The American Scene: American Painting of the 1930’s
Barr, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art
Brown, Social Art in America 1930-1945
Cheney, Modern Art in America Chew, Southwestern Pennsylvania Painters
Dreishpoon, Trapp, Pau-llosa; Clarence Holbrook Carter Fahlman, American Modernism
Falk, Who Was Who in American Art Gerdts, Pennsylvania Impressionism
Hall, Clarence Carter: A Life’s Work Hall,  Eyes on America
Hall and Glascock, Great Lakes Muse, American Scene Painting in the Upper Alterman, New Hope for American Art: A Comprehensive Showing of Important 20th Century
    Midwest 1910-1960     Painting from and Surrounding the New Hope Art Colony
Heller, Williams, Painters of the American Scene McClausland (ed.), Work for Artists, What? Where? How?
Opitz (ed.), Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors Wooden, The Neglected Generation of American Realist Painters 1930-1948
    & Engravers Strazdes, American Paintings and Sculpture to 1945 in the Carnegie Museum of Art
Many other major art references

Biography from Brock & Co.:
Clarence Carter was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and began painting at an early age.  He studied at the Cleveland School of Art from 1923 to 1927, and as a result of patronage from local arts supporter William Millikin, Carter was able to travel to Europe.  While in Italy, Carter felicitously met and was encouraged in his studies by Hans Hoffman.

Back in the United States, Carter taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1929 to 1937.  He was also Director of the Federal Art Project for Northeastern Ohio, and taught at the Carnegie Institute.  He served as guest instructor at various institutions including the Minneapolis School of Art (1949), Lehigh University (1954), Ohio University (1955), Atlanta Art Institute (1957), Lafayette College (1961), and the University of Iowa (1970).

Carter was a member of the American Water Color Society, and in 1962, served as Vice President. 

He used a watercolor technique that involved precise use of form, quick color washes and little retouching.  From the beginning of his career, Carter painted in a modernist idiom characterized by a precise, realist line and strong psychological component.  His work from the 1930s can be considered part of American Scene painting, and he was much concerned with the complex realities of American rural life.

There is a rich emotional quality to Carter’s work, and he once said “For me no great art has ever existed without some mystery and some awe.  That is the vast intangible, which can never be defined but only felt in an elusive way, that stirs the spirit.” (Frank Anderson Trapp, Clarence Holbrook Carter, (New York: Rizzoli Books, 1989, p. 7)

Source:
Frank Anderson Trapp, Clarence Holbrook Carter, (New York: Rizzoli Books, 1989)

Biography from RoGallery.com:
Born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1904, Clarence Carter had decided to pursue art by the age of six.  By age 26, he had graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Arts, traveled extensively through Europe, studied at Hans Hoffman Summer School in Capri and had exhibited in Carnegie International, and other international watercolor exhibitions.

Through the next four decades, Carter's works had been labeled Surrealism, Magic Realism, Geometric Abstraction, Pop and Op, but no category could capture his style completely.

It was in the mid-1960's, in his series called Mandalas, that his fascination with the egg-shaped ovoid began.  Author James A. Michener has commented that the egg in Carter's works is ". . . a mysterious symbol evoking the past, the origins, the overtones of Christianity."

In addition, Carter has painted murals for a number of buildings.  He also has taught, lectured and judged at such notable schools as The Minneapolis School of Art, Ohio. University, Lafayette College, Iowa State and his alma mater. 

On his works Carter has said: "for me no great art has ever existed without some mystery and some awe.  It is that intangible which can never be defined but only felt in an elusive way that stirs the spirit."

Biography from Higgins Maxwell Gallery:
Clarence Carter studied at the Cleveland School of Art from 1923 to 1927, and then spent the following summer in Capri with Hans Hofmann.

From 1929 to 1937, he taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In 1938 Carter left his job as director of the Ohio regional WPA/FAP and joined the teaching staff at Carnegie Institute. Since then he has been a professor, a visiting lecturer, and an artist-in-residence at seven universities.

His work continues to receive awards and is owned by many museums, including the Whitney, the Metropolitan, the Fogg, the Corcoran, and the Cleveland Museum.

Carter has an extensive listing in Who Was Who in American Art by Peter Falk

Biography from Boca Raton Museum of Art:
Clarence Carter is an artist whose long and consistent career continued the American Scene realism introduced in the first decade of the 20th century. A major watercolorist in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Carter was born in Portsmouth, Ohio and received recognition for his art talent as a youngster. In 1924, he enrolled in the Cleveland School of Art, and studied in Europe in 1927-28. From 1929 to 1937, he taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In Carter’s oeuvre, familiar settings of ordinary American life reveal a quiet, and at times, profoundly melancholy presence. In his work, Carter subtly modulates the play between frontality and depth, and his masterful evocations of light and shadow give a special visionary cast to all forms. The completely unpopulated ascending staircase is a dreamlike imaginary architectural form that appears in much of his later work. Carter’s work always seems to transmit a sense of emptiness, while describing the surfaces of American life with a stark, remorseless objectivity that characterizes its inner life with an equally potent honesty.

By The Boca Raton Museum of Art
Catalina Torres (Intern)

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