(b New York, June 25, 1877; d Williamstown, MA, Dec 29, 1956).
American collector. Clark was educated at Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, and served in the US Army from 1899 to 1905. He led an expedition to northern China in 1908–9 and published an account of it, Through Shen Kan, with Arthur Sowerby in 1912. He settled in Paris in 1912 and married Francine Clary in 1919. After 1920 the couple lived mainly in New York, with residences in Cooperstown, NY (until 1933), Upperville, VA, and Paris. Using Clark’s inherited fortune, they founded and endowed the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (opened 1955) in Williamstown, MA, to house Clark’s collection.
Clark purchased art between 1912 and 1954, principally from the firms of Colnaghi, Knoedler and Durand-Ruel. He began primarily with the Old Masters, acquiring paintings by Piero della Francesca, Hans Memling, Jan Gossart and Claude Lorrain, but after 1920 he concentrated on 19th-century French painting. He had several favourites: ...