Eloquene in Wood: The art of John L. Clarke

"Through his wood sculpture, he spoke eloquently of the world that he knew and loved, so eloquently that words were not necessary." Dale Burk, new Interpretations

Eloquence in Wood examines the artistic vision of a man who - as a result of a childhood illness - could neither hear nor speak. For Blackfeet artist John L. Clarke (Cutapuis), art was a tool for communication that he used powerfully and articulately.

John Louis Clarke was born in 1881 in Highwood, Montana, east of Great Falls. Clarke suffered from scarlet fever at age two and permanently lost his hearing. His resulting silence earned him his Blackfeet name, Cutapuis - The man Who Talks Not.

In 1913, he settled in Midvale, what is now East Glacier Park. There, Clarke opened a studio where he worked and sold his carvings. In 1918, Clarke married Mary "Mamie" Simon. Mamie acted as a valuable business partner. She handled contracts, promotion, and sales. The Clarkes adopted a daughter, Joyce, in 1931.

Clarke remained active as an artist and outdoorsman until his death in 1970.

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Eloquene in Wood: The art of John L. Clarke