About the Artists Database

The NIVAL Artists Database has been compiled in order to improve public access to the Library's extensive information files on 20th century and contemporary Irish artists.  These files contain exhibition catalogues, newspaper cuttings and ephemera on over 3,500 artists born or based in Ireland.

The Artists Database is a reference resource providing basic biographical and work details on each artist abstracted from the information contained in the hard copy files held in the Library.  It is important to realise that the records are a summary of the information held in each artist's file.  A visit to NIVAL is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the actual files.

Although we have endeavoured to ensure the information is correct, it is inevitable, given the diverse sources of information, that some inaccuracies may occur.  Changes and updates are made on an ongoing basis and the Library welcomes suggestions, criticism, and donations of relevant material.

Filter Artists:

  • Reference Code:IE/NIVAL AR/358
  • First Name: Carey
  • Last Name: Clarke
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 1936
  • Place of Birth: Donegal
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Artwork Type Technique:
    • Oil Painting
    • Watercolour
    • Drawings
  • Abstract/Figurative: Abstract
  • Genre:
    • Still Life
  • Represented By: Not Specified
  • Public Art: No
  • Size: 20+
  • Manuscript Material: No
  • Physical Location: Artist Files Collection
  • Public Collection:
    • National Self Portrait Collection, University of Limerick.
    • Ulster Museum, Belfast.
    • Office of Public Works (OPW).
    • AIB (Allied Irish Banks).
    • Arts Council of Ireland.

other Info Source:

Artifact CD-ROM (1997) [database of contemporary Irish artists]


1985 Keating-MacGonigal Silver Medal, RHA.
1959 Taylor Art Award, RDS.
1997 RHA Special Award.


2012 Carey Clarke: a retrospective. Dublin: Royal Hibernian Academy.


1959 National College of Art, Fine Art.


Clarke was born in Donegal in 1936 and was educated at St. Andrew’s College, Dublin. He attended the National College of Art (NCA) from 1954 to 1959 and took up a teaching post in the College in 1963. While at NCA, he was awarded the Royal Dublin Society’s prize for portraiture and the Taylor Art Scholarship. He studied painting at the Salzburg Academy in the summer of 1969 and in 1976 took a year’s sabbatical to research tempera painting in Florence. In 1985, he received the inaugural Keating/McLoughlin Bursary for Art and a silver medal at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) annual exhibition.

Clarke began exhibiting in 1956 at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and had his first solo show at the Molesworth Gallery in 1966. He participated in numerous group shows including the RHA and the Oireachtas exhibitions. Clarke was elected a member of the RHA in 1980 and served as Academy President from 1992-1995. He is also a member of the Cork Arts Society and the Watercolour Society of Ireland.

Clarke was a full-time lecturer in the Department of Painting at NCA from 1968 until his retirement in 1995. He sat on the College’s first Academic Council in 1969 and was involved in the discourse between students and staff and the Department of Education regarding the future of the College that led to the student revolt of 1969-1971.

Clarke is an academic painter of portraits, still life, and landscapes, working in a precise, almost photographic manner. He is renowned for his responsiveness to character, light and mood. Regarded as one of Ireland’s finest portraitist, Clarke has painted numerous distinguished public figures including former Taoisigh Dr. Garret FitzGerald and Albert Reynolds. His work hangs in many private and public collections in Ireland and abroad.

File contains original catalogues from earlier exhibitions.