More about John L. Clarke (1881-1970)

John Louis Clarke, 1881 to 1970, was the son of Blackfeet tribesman Horace Clarke. Scarlet fever at the age of two left him permanently deaf and mute, earning him his Blackfeet name, Cutapuis—“the man who talks not.” Throughout his life, he patiently communicated by writing notes, using sign language, or creating art.

Clarke’s artistic abilities emerged at a very early age. In 1913 he returned to East Glacier where he opened a studio from which he operated until his death in 1970.

Clarke is usually considered self-taught, although he attended the Chicago Art Institute for a short time. He became a most prolific artist who worked in oils, watercolors, clays, charcoals, and even crayons. But his real fame developed from his international reputation for his sensitively executed, vibrant wood carvings of bears, mountain goats, and other wild animals of the Glacier National Park, particularly using cottonwood.

At his artistic height, John was generally considered one of the best portrayers of Western wildlife. He crafted a career as a renowned Blackfeet artist; his legacy survives as a worthy inspiration to all Montanans.

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John L. Clarke (1881-1970)
Cheyenne Infant’s Moccasins

Cheyenne Infant’s Moccasins

(sold) Mountain Goat carving by John L. Clarke

(sold) Mountain Goat carving by Jo...