Clarkson, Ralph Elmer(American, 1861-1942)
Ralph Elmer Clarkson was an important member of the original group at The Eagle’s Nest Camp in 1898. He was last remaining member of the original Eagle’s Nest group, and his death in 1942 marked the end of an era.
Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, he studied at the Boston Museum School in Paris under Lefebre and Boulanger and later in Italy. After coming to Chicago he became an extremely popular society portrait painter. His work was included in many Art Institute exhibitions as well as exhibits at the St. Louis Exposition, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. He received many prizes for his works.
For many years Clarkson was president of the Chicago Society of Artists, and in 1910 he was elected as an associate member of the National Academy of Design.
Along with Oliver Dennett Grover and Frederick Clay Bartlett (both represented in this collection) he executed murals for the Fine Arts Building, Chicago. His works are also included in the collections of: The Art Institute of Chicago, The Newberry Library and The Union League Club, both in Chicago, the University of Illinois and the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Illinois.
Works Cited:
Madden, Betty; Larry Emmons (Foreward). The Eagle’s Nest Art Colony. Collection: Arts Alliance Ogle County, 1982.

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