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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

CLARKE, Cuthbert Charles

CLARKE, Cuthbert Charles

Born Smyrna, Anatolia, son of a naval surgeon, John Cuthbert Clarke. Arrived Auckland 17 April 1849 on Ennadale. On 30 August 1849 went with Sir George's Grey's party to the great native feast in the Bay of Islands and made drawings of the stage erected to contain the food at this hakari. On 5 December 1849 accompanied Grey's party first down the coast in the Undine to the “Kaweranga” Mission station in the Thames and then overland to Taranaki. Drawings he made, and lithographs after his own sketches, presumably as a professional artist for the Government, are in the British Museum. Though he worked also as a professional artist in Auckland, he had, at least in early 1851, a position as Customs Clerk, but later sailed for Melbourne and thence to the goldfields at Mt. Alexander. Settled in Castlemaine and worked again as an artist. On 10 April 1855 married Kitty Eizzer, a minstrel of Frankfurt-on-Mayne, and a son was born in 1856. In 1860 applied for a permit for a house in Wattle Flat, but his wife died that year and he settled in Melbourne 1862–63; his work appearing in the Illustrated Melbourne Post. Possibly revisited New Zealand 1862: a painting of Taranaki page 67 and Mount Egmont by a C. Clark is dated 8 November 1862. Clarke usually appended to his signature the word ‘Ismir’. This was the earlier name for Smyrna where he was born, though it also has the meaning ‘Turk’, and Clarke was known to love what he regarded as his ‘native land’. Represented: AIML, Turnbull, Nan Kivell Collection of ANL, La Trobe Library, Melbourne, and the public collection in Castlemaine, Victoria.