Clarence Carter was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and began painting at an early age.  He studied at the Cleveland School of Art from 1923 to 1927, and as a result of patronage from local arts supporter William Millikin, Carter was able to travel to Europe.  While in Italy, Carter felicitously met and was encouraged in his studies by Hans Hoffman.

Back in the United States, Carter taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art from 1929 to 1937.  He was also Director of the Federal Art Project for Northeastern Ohio, and taught at the Carnegie Institute.  He served as guest instructor at various institutions including the Minneapolis School of Art (1949), Lehigh University (1954), Ohio University (1955), Atlanta Art Institute (1957), Lafayette College (1961), and the University of Iowa (1970).

Carter was a member of the American Water Color Society, and in 1962, served as Vice President.

He used a watercolor technique that involved precise use of form, quick color washes and little retouching.  From the beginning of his career, Carter painted in a modernist idiom characterized by a precise, realist line and strong psychological component.  His work from the 1930s can be considered part of American Scene painting, and he was much concerned with the complex realities of American rural life.

There is a rich emotional quality to Carter’s work, and he once said “For me no great art has ever existed without some mystery and some awe.  That is the vast intangible, which can never be defined but only felt in an elusive way, that stirs the spirit.” (Frank Anderson Trapp, Clarence Holbrook Carter, (New York: Rizzoli Books, 1989, p. 7)


Cleveland School of Art, 1923-1927
Capri, Italy, with Hans Hofmann, summer 1927

Associate member of the National Academy of Design
Delaware Valley Art Association (pres., 1962-1963)
American Watercolor Society (board of directors, 1961-1962; vice-pres., 1962)

Ackland Art Museum, University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Allentown Museum of Art, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York
Baukunst, Cologne, Germany
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Holland
The Brooklyn Museum, New York
Butler Institute of Arts
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Columbus Museum of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Davidson College Art Gallery, Davidson, North Carolina
Dudley Peter Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell
University, Ithaca, New York
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Michigan
Macedonia Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Nelson Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, Missouri
The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey
Northeast Ohio Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio
Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida
Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Schumacher Gallery, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Sheldon Swope Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana
Smithsonian, Washington, D. C.
Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts
Stanford University Museum of Art, Stanford, Connecticut
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
University of Maryland Art Gallery, College Park
University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin
University of Oklahoma Art Museum at Norman
University Art Gallery, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg
Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
College of Wooster Art Center, Wooster, Ohio
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Cleveland Arts & Crafts, 1927-39 (prizes)
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1929-44
Corcoran Gallery, 1930-49
Butler (Ohio) Institute of American Art (prizes, 1937, 1940, 1943, 1946)
Golden Gate Exposition, San Francisco, 1939
Carnegie Institute (prizes, 1941, 1943-44; solo 1940)
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (solo 1957)
Allentown Art Museum (solo 1959)
de Young Memorial Museum
California Palace of the Legion of Honor
Whitney Museum of American Art
Art Institute of Chicago
Museum of Modern Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum
Dallas Museum of Fine Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Architectural League
American Artists for Victory
National Arts Club
Albright Art Gallery
Finley Gallery (solo)
Milwaukee Art Institute (solo 1934)
Suffolk Museum, Stony Brook, New York, (solo 1948)
Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Galleries, New York City
Detroit Art Institute
Toledo Museum of Art
Nebraska Art Association
W.R. Nelson Gallery of Art
Swope Gallery of Art
Cleveland Art Center, Cleveland, Ohio (solos 1929, 1948)
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York (solos 1930, 1951, 1963)
Ferargil Galleries, New York (solos 1939, 1941)
Little Gallery, Cleveland College, Ohio (solo 1937)
Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio (solo 1940)
Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio (solo 1940)
Chautaugua Gallery of Art, Chautauqua, New York (solo 1943)
Findlay Galleries, Chicago, Illinois (solo 1945)
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York (solo 1947)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota (solo 1949)
Allen R. Hite Art Institute, Univ. of Louisville, Kentucky (solo 1950)
U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center, Portsmouth, Ohio (solos 1950, 1952)
Art Club, St. Petersburg, Florida (solo 1952)
Hendrik-Hobbelink-Kaastra Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida (solo 1957)
D’Arcy Galleries, New York (solo 1961)

Works by Clarence Holbrook Carter