William Henry Clapp
1879 - 1954
William Henry Clapp is best known for his Impressionist and Pointillist paintings of landscapes and figures, which vibrate with broken colour and dappled light.
Clapp was born in Canada in 1879 to American parents, and in 1885, the family returned to California and settled in Oakland. He began his art instruction in Canada at the Art Association of Montreal under William Brymner, and later went to Paris and studied at the Academies Julian, Colarossi and Grand Chaumière, during which time his commitment to Impressionism began. He painted in Canada, France, Spain, Cuba and the United States.
When Clapp returned to Canada in 1908, he settled in Montreal, where he was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Art Academy. He also became a member of the Canadian Art Club, the Arts Club of Montreal and the Pen and Pencil Club of Montreal.
In 1917, Clapp returned to Oakland, where he would remain for the rest of his life. He served as the director of the Oakland Gallery (now the Oakland Museum) for over 30 years. During these years, he showed his works with the artist group The Society of Six, who were influenced by French Fauvists.
Clapp’s paintings are in the collection of Canadian and American museums, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, the Oakland Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.