Who Was Clark Hulings
Clark’s ability to see beauty in daily human gestures and activities won him the appellation “master” on numerous occasions. His celebration of textures as expressed through light, shadow, and atmosphere “describes the air itself,” according to the Christian Science Monitor. His range of subject matter was astonishing, “No one does as many things as well,” proclaimed Southwest Art. His modesty in the face of such acclaim was legendary. Throughout his career he maintained a personal profile far lower than his national reputation.
Donkeys were a favorite subject for Clark, “Burros are not sophisticated or graceful, but they have a dignity about them. They are strong, intelligent, hardy, loyal and determined. If left to their own devices and their own pace, they will serve well.”
Clark Hulings (1922-2011) was born in Florida and raised in New Jersey. Over his lifetime, he resided in New York, Louisiana, and throughout Europe before settling in Santa Fe in 1972. His art training began as a teenager with Sigismund Ivanowsky and the famed draftsman George Bridgman and continued at The Art Students League with Frank Reilly. With a degree in physics from Haverford College, Pa., Hulings pursued an initial career as a portraitist in Louisiana, followed by freelance illustration in New York, notably paperback book covers, during the 1950s.
By the early 1960s, Hulings devoted himself to easel paintings. In 1965 he debuted in New York, N.Y., at The Grand Central Art Galleries. In 1976 he was the subject of a solo exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City, OK., which was documented in the book Hulings—A Collection of Oil Paintings (Lowell Press), followed in 1978 by a retrospective at the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX, and a 1981 exhibition at the C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT. Hulings’ work was the subject of one-man exhibitions in 1999 at Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Santa Fe, and in 2007 at J.N. Bartfield Galleries, New York, and Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head, S.C. In 2011 The Forbes Galleries, NY mounted a Hulings show with examples of work from every decade of his career.
In 1986, Hulings authored the book A Gallery of Paintings by Clark Hulings (White Burro Publishing). The book was updated and reissued in soft cover in 2006. His paintings have been included in countless articles and surveys such as The Majesty of the Grand Canyon: 150 Years of Art (Pomegranate Press) and Landscapes of New Mexico: Paintings of the Land of Enchantment (Fresco Fine Art Publishing).
Hulings was the recipient of several awards from organizations such as The Allied Artists of America, The Salmagundi Club and The Hudson Valley Art Association. In 1973 he received the Prix de West award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, where his painting Grand Canyon, Kaibab Trail is in the permanent collection. In his adopted state, Hulings was recognized with his first one-man show in 1945 at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe. In 1985, the museum installed a Hulings plaque on its artist walk of fame; and in 2004, he received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Clark's Lasting Significance
Clark is revered for his technique and venerated for capturing the essence of ancestral homelands. His compositions and subjects are widely emulated, and he is recognized for his enormous impact on American realists, and especially Western artists, since the 1970’s.
Mission of the Clark Hulings Estate
The Estate exists to support Clark Hulings' place in the canon of American master painters, and to support collectors, auction houses, galleries, dealers, and museums by providing a central resource for information, licensing, reproductions, and sales support.