<font color="#808080">CLARK, Roland</font>

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1874 - 1957)

Roland H. Clark was an artist, author, and sportsman who was particularly well known for his etchings of game birds such as ducks, geese, woodcock, and quail. He was the son of Henry Walker and Fanny Elizabeth (Hunt) Clark of New Rochelle, New York where he was born on April 2, 1874. His father was a lawyer.

Roland Clark went to private schools in New York City and studied art under tutors and at the Art Students League where J. Carroll Beckwith was one of his instructors. As a youth he enjoyed sailing, fishing, and horseback riding, but his greatest pleasure was hunting waterfowl in the marshes around Long Island Sound. After he finished school he combined his work with his favorite recreation and made sketching-hunting trips to Scotland, Canada, and many of the hunting areas along our East Coast. It has been said that he was often torn between shooting or sketching a bird, and as a result in a moment of indecision sometimes would lose both the bird and the drawing.

Mr. Clark married Ann, daughter of Richard Corbin Byrd, a planter of Gloucester, Virginia on September 5, 1900. There were three children: Elizabeth Hunt, William Byrd, and Ann Gordon Clark. The family lived in Gloucester on Mobjack Bay, an offshoot of Chesapeake Bay, for 22 years. Mr. Clark went into the oyster trading business for a while, but the area had so much to offer a wildfowl artist that he could not permit himself to be diverted for long.

Using sketches made from life, he did some 500 etchings, many of which were exhibited in one-man shows in New York and other cities. Some were used to illustrate the books he wrote, and others were purchased for The Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.

Mr. Clark wrote his first book in 1931. Entitled Stray Shots, it told of his hunting experiences and was illustrated by 13 of his original drypoint etchings. The edition was limited to 500 copies. In 1937 he produced Gunner's Dawn which contained further reminiscences of hunting trips and was illustrated by an original etching plus reproductions of five of his oil paintings. The following year Roland Clark's Etchings appeared with reproductions of 70 etchings. Pot Luck, another collection of stories written and illustrated by Mr. Clark, came out in 1945.

Although Mr. Clark's principal work was making the etchings for which he was internationally known, he also did many oil paintings of sporting scenes, including miniatures of birds, and a few watercolors. All his work was well received: eight series of hand engraved and colored prints were made; limited editions of color prints taken from many of his oil paintings were produced; his etchings, including his duck stamp print, are treasured by those who own them.

Mr. Clark was a charter member of The American Sporting Artists and a member of Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

He died at 83 in Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, Connecticut on April 13, 1957.

Russell Fink Gallery P. O. Box 250 Lorton, VA 22199
Voice: 703-550-9699 Fax: 703-339-6150