Father of resident, exhibit and museum designer
Art Clark. (Courtesy photo)
Arthur M. Clark, father of Harvard resident Tim Clark, died peacefully and with dignity surrounded by his family in Taos, New Mexico, Nov. 9, 2023, at the age of 88.
Born to Vera and Clinton Clark in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1935, he was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, where he graduated from high school. He later attended the University of Cincinnati, where he studied industrial design and married his first wife, Esther Littmann Clark.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army, and while stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he taught new recruits how to drive tanks. After his peacetime service he worked as a designer for a Madison Avenue industrial design firm on the 1964 World’s Fair. During this period he traveled to six European cities and set up trade shows for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In 1966, Art took a job at IBM in one of the few creative positions available working on trade shows in Armonk, New York, and IBM’s international sales group, GBGI, in White Plains, New York. In 1983 he became the exhibition designer at the IBM Gallery of Science and Art—IBM’s new headquarters in New York City. He remained in this role until the museum closed in 1994.
Art was known for his pioneering thematic approach to exhibit design and the use of saturated colors on the walls to complement the art, rather than the customary white. Art had an equally busy freelance career as an exhibit designer for various museums and galleries such as the Whitney Museum, the Japan Society, and the Katonah Museum of Art. Upon retirement he continued to do volunteer work as a designer for various galleries and museums, including the Martinez Hacienda in Taos, New Mexico.
He retired to North Salem, New York, with his partner, Sally Mayer, before moving with her to Taos in 1998. Together they collaborated on many endeavors that benefited the cultural community in Taos. It was also in Taos that Art deepened his purely creative work of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Just as Art embraced the mountain community of Taos, he also loved the summers he spent with Sally and their dogs surrounded by lake and forest at their camp in Grand Lake Stream, Maine.
Art was predeceased by his brother, Chico Clark, and Chico’s daughter, Ann Marie Starr; his brother, Bill Clark, and Bill’s wife, Lynn; and his daughters-in-law Ruth Silman and Joy Handsberry. He is survived by his ex-wife, Esther Clark; his son, Matthew and wife Alison Macondray; his son, Timothy, and grandchildren Jacob and Phoebe Clark; his partner, Sally Mayer and her daughter, Jennifer Dryfoos and her grandson, Max; Liz Dryfoos and her husband, Tom Young, and her grandchildren, Lucy and Tom Young. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Anita Clark, and by numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Art’s name can donate to the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, based in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, at downeastlakes.org.