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Not on display. Research Application
Call #:
Bishop Thomas March Clark (1812-1903)
Collection type:
Author/Creator :
  • Heade, Martin Johnson, 1819-1904 - Painter
  • Date:
    ca. 1857
    Object type:
    8: Communication Artifacts; Art; Portrait
    Place of production/origin:
    United States of America (USA), Rhode Island, Providence
    Three quarter length figure of a man in white clerical robes, left hand holds small red Bible against his chest, right hand rests on table covered with red and yellow cloth, in background right is red upholstered chair with carved crestrail.
    Height:52 in x Width:42 in
    Height:132.1 cm x Width:106.7 cm
    Clark, Thomas M. (Thomas March), 1812-1903
    Research Notes:
    From Goodyear: The portrait of Bishop Clark by Martin Johnson Heade is one of no more than twenty portraits that are known to exist from Heade's portrait oeuvre. Most of these portraits were painted in the late 1850's in Providence although at least one of them, a portrait of Oliver Cromwell owed by Brown University, is dated London, 1865. Born in Lumberville, Pennsylvania in 1819, Heade received his earliest training as a couch painter from Edward Hicks and his cousin, Thomas Hicks, who painted a portrait of his pupil that still survives. By 1857, after a period of study in Italy, France and England, and a period of paining portraits and landscapes, Heade settled briefly in Providence. Greatly influence by the portraiture of George P. A. Healy, who was in Providence at the same period, but realizing his limitations, Heade soon gave up portraiture for landscape and still life painting. As a portraitist, Heade was more of a copyist than an original painter, using engraved prints, miniatures, daguerreotypes and other paintings for his sources. His portrait of Bishop Clark, who officiated at Heade's wedding, reveals the artists' dependence on a daguerreotype image. While the modeling of the face is well executed, Bishop Clark's portrait lacks the spontaneity of Heade;s unfinished portrait of Mary Rebecca Clark, the bishop's daughter, painted in 1857 and owned in the Karolik Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Thomas March Clark was born on July 4, 1812 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1831, studied theology at Princeton University, and in 1836 became rector of Grace Church, Boston. On October 2, 1838, he married Caroline Howard. He served in various ministerial capacities in Boston, Philadelphia and Hartford until 1854 when he was elected Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island, a position he occupied until 1903 when he died.
    Gift of Bishop Thomas March Clark
    Bibliographic References:
    Goodyear, Frank Henry,. American paintings in the Rhode Island Historical Society,by Frank H. Goodyear, Jr. Providence,: Rhode Island Historical Society,, 1974., P. 88
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