Skip to main content

A Scholar Collects: Selections from the Anthony Morris Clark Bequest

October 2, 1980–January 4, 1981

The Philadelphia Museum of Art was fortunate to have received in 1978 378 old master drawings, 204 prints, 114 coins, medals, and plaquettes, 24 sculptures, and 13 miscellaneous objets d'art from the estate of the late Anthony Morris Clark. As the leading connoisseur of and specialist in eighteenth-century Roman painting, Anthony Clark assembled the finest collection of the art of that city and period in private hands in America. For almost twenty years, working from his close and extensive knowledge of many, often lesser-known artists of the period and combing the resources of dealers throughout America and Europe, he sought to acquire examples of the work of as many artists active in his area of interest as possible. After his death, his paintings were sold to benefit the posthumous publication of his books-in-progress and to help establish a fellowship in his field; the rest of his collection was, according to the terms of his will, donated to a public institution. As a result, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has the most complete representation of eighteenth-century Roman draughtsmanship in America, as well as a holding of prints that demonstrates the high interest in reproductive printmaking during that period and a collection of medals that documents various artistic, historical, political, and cultural events of the times. When the collection was received, an exhibition selected from the more important works from this bequest, accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, was planned for presentation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and at other institutions in the United States. Almost from the beginning, it was determined that the authorship of the catalogue should draw upon the talents of Tony Clarks's numerous colleagues and should reflect the spirit of international cooperation that marked his approach to scholarship. The catalogue is a record of Clark as a private collector of works of art devoted to his very private enthusiasm, Roman life in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As a curator and director of museums, he formed public collections with an equal passion. A Scholar Collects includes 143 drawings, prints, sculpture, and medals. It is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Philadelphia Museum of Art
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Main Building


The National Endowment for the Arts


Ann Percy
Ulrich W. Hiesinger

Check out other exhibitions

View full calendar