Harry Clarke – Stained Glass Genius

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    By Sheila O’Kelly

    Harry Patrick Clarke, born 17th March 1889, was an Irish stain-glass artist and book illustrator. Harry was the younger son and third child of Joshua and Brigid Clarke.

    Joshua was a Church decorator. He moved from Leeds to Dublin in 1877 and started a decorating business, Joshua Clarke & Son, that later incorporated a stain glass division.


    Harry was educated at Marlborough Street School and Belvedere College. Two years after his mother’s death in 1903, Harry left school and worked in the office of Thomas McNamara who was an architect. A year later Harry began his apprenticeship in his father’s studio and attended evening classes in the Metropolitan College of Art and Design.


    In 1906 Harry travelled to London and attended the South Kensington School of Design. When he returned to Dublin he resumed his apprenticeship and night classes. In 1911, Harry was awarded a gold medal for his window, The Consecration of Saint Mel, Bishop of Longford, by Saint Patrick.

    Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own