Clarence Holbrook Carter, American (1904 - 2000)

Born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1904, Carter had decided to pursue art by the age of six.

By age 26 he had graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Arts, traveled extensively through Europe, studied at Hans Hoffman Summer School in Capri and had exhibited in Carnegie International, and other international watercolor exhibitions. Through the next four decades, Carter's works had been labeled, surrealism, Magic Realism, geometric abstraction, pop and op, but no category could capture his style completely.

It was in the mid-1960's, in his series called "Mandalas," that his fascination with the egg-shaped ovoid began. Author James A. Michener has commented that the egg in Carter's works is ". . . a mysterious symbol evoking the past, the origins, the overtones of Christianity."

In addition, Carter has painted murals for a number of buildings. He also has taught, lectured and judged at such notable schools as The Minneapolis School of Art, Ohio. University, Lafayette College, Iowa State and his alma mater. On his works Carter has said: "for me no great art has ever existed without some mystery and some awe. It is that intangible which can never be defined but only felt in an elusive way that stirs the spirit."

Carter's work is found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; the James A. Michener Art Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and many others.

Since December 2007 Carter's striking figure study of a nude young woman is owned in the collection of the Naples (Florida) Museum of Arts - and presently on display in the first floor gallery of the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.

Recognition of Carter’s place in American art spiked in the 1970s, when he was mentioned or discussed at some length in 11 books and peaked in the 1980s with his mention in18 books. By the centenary of his birth in 2004, citations of his work totaled 61. Clarence Carter died in 2000 at the age of 96.

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