Thursday, September 28, 2006

Walter Marshall Clute

Have you ever heard of Walter Marshall Clute? Chances are, you haven't. But he was one of the earliest members of the P&C--president of the club, in fact, for two years before 1900--and he painted and drew like a dream.

Clute is listed has having exhibited two paintings in the Club's 1898 Salon de Refuse. He was born in Schenectady in 1870 and studied at the Art Students' League in New York City as well as the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He lived in Park Ridge in this home until he moved to California, where he died shortly after in 1915.

Clute's death was noted in the Cowbell--the P&C newsletter published in 1913, 1915, and sporadically thereafter--of April 1915. We learn from the death notice that Clute was the president of the P&C in 1898 and 1899; in 1900 he went to Paris to study for a year. On his return to Chicago, he worked as an instructor at the Art Institute. From the biographical information in the Union League Club of Chicago Art Collection, we learn that Clute also worked as a sketch artist for the Chicago Daily News and co-founded the Oxbow Summer School in Saugatuck, Michigan.

There is a staggeringly beautiful painting done by Clute at the Union League Club. It depicts his wife and daughter at their home in Park Ridge; the mother is reading to the girl.

Clute's work is also at the Vanderpoel Memorial Museum in Beverly, and the Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco has a number of his pen and ink drawings.

Here is an old black and white photo of one of his paintings; for some reason, the photographer set up the shot with the painting upside down.

Here is a picture of Clute's Park Ridge home, known as "The Birches." Apparently, the home still exists. If you are from Park Ridge, let me know if the building is still there. It's supposed to be at the corner of Fairview and Garden. I hope it's still there, but a quick look at Google Earth suggests that the intersection may no longer be a garden with a fair view.


Blogger John S said...

The Clute home still exists at what is now 720 Garden St. A substantial addition was added in the 1940s to accommodate The Pantry Restaurant, but the Clute home is obvious.

The building is currently the home of the Park Ridge Nonprofit Center and we are in the process of updating our website with more history of the building. I would like to get your picture of the house. We have the same or similar picture, but it's from a newspaper or photocopy so of poor quality.

November 13, 2010  

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