Robert J. Clark 2 Replies Robert J. Clark, professor emeritus of art and archaeology, passed away on Jan. 4, 2011
I was a freshman at Princeton in 1972, when I saw Clark’s Arts and Crafts exhibit and instantly fell in love. My fascination with the Arts and Crafts Movement led me to write my thesis on the subject, and left me with a life-long appreciation of the work of those artists. I remember consulting Robert Clark as I was writing my thesis. He was extraordinarily helpful and enthusiastic. It was also a pleasure to visit his office, because it was filled with beautiful Arts and Crafts pieces.
When I graduated, I thought about trying to collect Arts and Crafts furniture as an investment, but my parents thought I was crazy. I had no money and no real entrepreneurial spirit or confidence, so I gave up the idea. I have often regretted it–both financially and because my love for the pieces was so strong, that I think it would have been a fulfilling occupation.
Robert Clark will surely be missed.
I, too, was a freshman in the fall of 1972 who fell in love with American Arts and Crafts at RJ’s exhibition. When my parents came to visit, I made sure they saw the exhibition. As a result, my father,an antiques dealer, began to buy and sell mission furniture and crafts with great success and enthusiasm. We still have the much loved, well read catalogue.
I never invested in Arts and Crafts furniture, per se, but I did buy an L&J Stickley rocker that freshman year for $15.00 from Skillman Used Furniture over by Andy’s Tavern. It looked great in our living room in Holder. I still have it.
Professor Clark opened American eyes to the beauty of modern design that was historical but not Colonial, embracing an inclusive aesthetic not limited to members of the DAR or the Addams family. The wonderful clean lines and beautiful materials of the American Arts and Crafts he rediscovered were a breath of fresh air in the funky 1970’s and the design principles and American craftsmanship he celebrated in a scholarly context breathed new life into the study of American Decorative Arts.
Als ich kann, indeed, Professor Clark.