Born 1895 (Circa)
Active: 1911 - 1959
Country of birth and death: England
Sculptor, wood carver, graphic artist
Born in Harrow. Daughter of the American born architect, Joseph T. Clarke (born c.1856). In 1911 she was studying art in London and living with her older sister, Rebecca (born c. 1887 in Harrow) who was a musician.
From 1923 Dora exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy (1923-59), the Goupil Gallery (early 1930s), and other one-off venues such as the Women's International Art Club exhibition at the Art Club, Suffolk Street (1932) where the other sculptors included Winifred Leveritt and Ethel Pye. Clarke quickly established a reputation as a carver in wood of African heads.
From 5th-27th March 1936 Clarke was given her first one person show at the French Gallery (catalogue in the National Art Library). She exhibited wood carvings, bronzes and drawings of African heads. The reviewer in 'The Times' said she 'has a corner of her own in sculpture.' In addition to these works, Clarke also executed a number of portraits and memorials, such as the one to Joseph Conrad at Bishopsbourne, near Canterbury (unveiled 1927) which comprised a panel and medallion portrait.
In 1936-8 her work was the subject of several television broadcasts. On Tuesday 13 April 1937 the first in a series entitled 'The World of Women' was devoted to her sculpture and presented by Mary Adams. Clarke also presented some programmes, including one on Tuesday 16 November 1937 called 'Making a Life Mask' in which she, together with her plaster caster, demonstrated how a life mask was made. A later programme in 1938 (21 February) showed how to make a poster.
She married Admiral Gervase B. Middleton in 1938 but continued to exhibit under her own name. He died in 1961 and his obituary suggests she out-lived him.
Dates are usually the year a work was exhibited so may differ from date of production.
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Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at Leeds City Art Gallery, Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, 1927
'The Artist's Mother'
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
1923 - 1959
Exhibited 14 times (11 times up to 1951), seventeen works in all (statuettes, busts and heads mostly in wood but also in stone and bronze)
Institutional and Business Connections
Represented by Goupil Gallery
1932 (Circa) - 1934 (Circa)
Exhibited several times at the Goupil Gallery chiefly her African heads, the first occasion was a show with eleven artists in January 1932 that included Ethel Clarke (paintings), Alan Durst and Maria Petrie (sculptures)
Descriptions of Practice
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Work of Living British Artists, Leeds City Art Gallery 1927
Cat. Nos. 337, 341, pp. 23, 25
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
RG14PN137 RG78PN4 RD2 SD1 ED50 SN134
The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1861-1989. Volume 1, A-D. A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1990 The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1861-1989
The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
MULTIPLE REFERENCES: The Times, Thursday, Oct 20, 1927; pg. 12; Issue 44717; col C A Tribute To Joseph Conrad. A Village Memorial At Bishopsbourne. Category: News ****** AND The Times, Tuesday, Feb 23, 1932; pg. 12; Issue 46064; col C Art Exhibitions Mr. Epstein And The Old Testament Category: Reviews ****** AND The Times, Wednesday, Mar 11, 1936; pg. 14; Issue 47320; col B A Woman Sculptor African Types By Miss Dora Clarke Category: Arts and Entertainment ******AND The Times, Tuesday, Apr 13, 1937; pg. 11; Issue 47657; col D Broadcasting A Speech By Mr. Baldwin, Episode In The Life Of Napoleon Category: Arts and Entertainment******AND The Times, Tuesday, Nov 16, 1937; pg. 22; Issue 47843; col A Broadcasting "Tom Jones", "Tristan And Isolda" Category: Arts and Entertainment
Citing this record
'Dora Clarke', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib6_1225379732, accessed 30 Apr 2017]