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Strudwick, Clement Read

by William S. Powell, 1994

16 Apr. 1900–26 Feb. 1958

Clement Read Strudwick, portrait artist, was born in Columbia, Tenn., the son of Shepperd and Susan Read Strudwick. His father, a native of Hillsborough, N.C., lived in Tennessee for a few years while phosphate was being mined on land that he owned. His mother was a native of Farmville, Va. The family returned to Hillsborough when Clement was two; he attended Donaldson Military Academy in Fayetteville and served briefly in the Student Army Training Corps during World War I. While enrolled at The University of North Carolina during the period 1918–20, he was on the staff of several student publications. During that time he became acquainted with Jonathan Daniels of Raleigh and prepared illustrations for some of Daniels's writings. Leaving the university without a degree, he worked for six years in the insurance department of the North Carolina inspection and rating bureau.

Aware of his artistic ability, Strudwick was undecided whether to remain in the insurance business or to take art seriously. His father, who was also artistically inclined though never professionally employed in that field, encouraged his son to make the change. At age twenty-six Strudwick began studying drawing at the Art Student's League in New York under Frank Vincent Dumond. Afterwards he became a private pupil of the American painter George Luks and also studied under Frank Vincent Du Mond. In time, when confident of his ability, Strudwick began painting portraits and within a few years enjoyed wide acclaim. In 1929 he went to Paris and studied for about a year under M. Louis François Biliul. By 1933 his portraits appeared in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Raleigh, Hillsborough, Columbia, Florence, Birmingham, Savannah, Memphis, and elsewhere. In Raleigh his portraits of the Right Reverend Joseph Blount Cheshire and General Albert L. Cox were greatly admired, as was his depiction of President Edward Kidder Graham in Chapel Hill. On occasion he also produced landscapes and figures.

Returning home to Hillsborough, Strudwick painted in a workshop constructed for that purpose behind his parents' home. At times he worked in the Art Center Studio in Durham, but he accepted commissions all around the country. He organized the North Carolina Artists' Club to display the works of Tar Heel artists, served on the board of directors of the North Carolina State Art Society, and was a life member of the Southern Academy of Design. Strudwick, a Presbyterian, never married. His funeral was held in the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church, and he was buried in the Hillsborough cemetery.

References:

Charlotte Observer, 9 Apr. 1933.

Durham Sun, 27–28 Feb. 1958.

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924).

Greensboro Daily News, 21 Dec. 1944.

Raleigh News and Observer, 7 Sept. 1930, 27 Feb. 1958.

Additional Resources:

Shepperd Strudwick Papers, 1827-1944 (bulk 1898-1911) (collection no. 03995). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/s/Strudwick,Shepperd.html (accessed April 3, 2014).

Strudwick, Clement. "Lawrence Stallings."  Oil on canvas. 1936. Portrait Collection, University Art Collections, Wake Forest University.  # (accessed April 3, 2014). [Portrait of Stallings painted by Clement Strudwick.]

 

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