Clara Elsene Peck
(1883- ?)
Childhood & Education

She was born in 1883 in Allegan, Michigan and spent her childhood school days in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Peck received her art education at the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, studying under William Merritt Chase, and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts by attending night classes. 

Professional Career

She specialized in depicting women and children. She illustrated many articles on the subjects of education, child psychology, and expectant mothers. She also illustrated fiction in books and magazines and did advertising campaigns for Procter & Gamble and Metropolitan Life. Her magazine illustrations appeared in St. Nicholas Magazine, Century, and Collier’s.

She was a member of the American Water Color Society. She has had many exhibits and has won many awards.

Influences, Style & Technique

Typical of the late Victorian era, her work was decorative, exhibiting motion through her graceful lines.

Raison d’Être

“With me the desire to become an artist has been strong since childhood. Other members of the family in previous generations were artists, making the love and joy in creative expression a natural one to me.”

Childrens’ Books Illustrated

  • Sterling, Sara Hawks, Shakespeare’s Sweetheart, Philadelphia, Jacobs, 1905.

  • Sterling, Sara Hawks, A Lady of King Arthur’s Court, Philadelphia, Jacobs, 1907.

  • Daskam, Josephine, In Border Country, 1909.

  • Laboylaue’s Fairy Book, Harper.

  • Sandman Series I, Harper.

  • Sandman Series II, Harper.

  • Antrim, Phazes, Mazes and Crazes of Love, Jacobs.



Cover for Collier's, October 1908.
St. Nicholas, January 1906.
Larson, Judy L., American Illustration 1890-1925, Calgary, Glenbow Museum, 1984.
Mahoney, Bertha E. and Whitney, Elinor, Contemporary Illustrators of Children’s Books, Boston, The Bookshop for Boys and Girls, 1930.
Pitz, Henry C., 200 Years of American Illustration, New York, Random House, 1977.
Reed, Walt, The Illustrator in America 1900-1960’s, New York, Reinhold, 1966.
© 1999–2002 Denise Ortakales
All Illustrations are copyright by their respective owners.
This page last updated on24 August 2002.

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