Claude Clark, Brothers and Sister

Claude C.F. Clark: Brothers and Sister (1949) Oil on board
Brothers and Sister
Oil on board
Credit Line
Museum purchase, 2011
9 x 12 in.

When Albert C. Barnes opened the doors of his Foundation in 1922, he presented his great collection of French Impressionism and European modernism as education and inspiration. His goal: devising a program of study to transform American culture. He actively encouraged the participation of artists who hadn't been afforded access to traditional training in the arts. He encouraged Black artists -like Claude Clark- and women artists -like Gertrude Fisher-Fishman- to participate in the art program at the Barnes as a means to building their own voices as artists.

This painting demonstrates the impact of French painting on the modernist artists of Philadelphia. Clark's Brothers and Sister is a representation of three siblings with different skin tones. The dense brushwork suggests that he may have been inspired by Soutine and other expressionist artists in Barnes' collection.

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