William Henry Clapp

An American/Canadian Impressionist painter of beguiling beauty and skill. One of the country's best-known art collectors, who lives in western Pennsylvania, described his Clapps to Les Laky of Carmel as the gems hanging on his walls, in splendid company with his Monets and Renoirs. Because Clapp spent nearly all his professional life in Canada, France, Cuba, and California, he was not part of the Eastern art establishment, and his work was largely overlooked by the New York art press.

Clapp was both a follower and a pioneer. He was taken by the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism he found in France, 1904-08. Most of the original artists were alive and active, and the next generation was coming on the scene. He was particularly influenced by the work of Seurat and Signac. In this he was a follower. But when he returned to Canada, and to a slightly lesser extent California (because he got there later) his painting was so far in advance of what was being done that he became a radical pioneer, introducing audiences and artists on both sides of the continent to new visions.

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