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Kenneth Clark, Baron Clark

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Art historian and museum director. Clark was born in London, the son of a textile industrialist in Paisley, brought up in Suffolk, and educated at Winchester and Oxford. Clark retreated from his wealthy, business background, as the son of a Scottish textile magnate, into the world of the arts and became an extraordinarily dominant figure. He became Keeper of Fine Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1931–1933) and, at thirty-one, the youngest Director of the National Gallery (1934–1945), and Slade Professor of Fine Art (1946–1950). In 1939 he persuaded the Ministry of Information to keep professional artists out of the front line. He became a household name with the television series Civilisation (1969), which brought the history of western culture to a vast new audience.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Kenneth Clark, Baron Clark




oil on canvas


H 54.6 x W 45.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 1979

Work type



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