Clara Prince, San Juan Del Porto Mission, Jacksonville. Watercolor 14 by 10 inches. Signed lower left. 

A native of Michigan, Clara Prince always wanted to be an artist. In an interview with the Miami Herald (October 21, 1971) she remembered her first attempt at painting, “It brought a reprimand from my mother. I was little, I hadn’t started school yet and I cut off some of my hair to make a brush.” Prince studied commercial art in Columbus, Ohio and after graduation taught elementary school for three years, “because they didn’t teach art in school then.”

Clara Prince, Springtime at the Shack, from Miami Herald, November 11, 1951.

Prince was a married woman when she first arrived in Miami on September 18, 1926, two days before a category four hurricane hit the city. She and her husband left Miami for Jacksonville, where she joined the Jacksonville Fine Arts Society, not returning to Miami until 1934.

Prince taught art in Dade County Recreations Centers for years and had private students as well. Her oil and china paintings were exhibited in shows and galleries about the state. She was a founding member of the national China Painting Teachers Association and a life member of the World Organization of China painters. Prince helped found the National Painting Teachers Association and was the founder of Allied Arts of North Miami.

Clara Prince, from Miami Herald, April 7, 1940.

 A widow since 1956, Prince lived alone in a small public housing apartment designed for the elderly. She turned the small unit into a studio covered with paintings and shelves full of painted china, an electric kiln next to her bed. Prince got around Dade County by bus to attend art related luncheons and meetings. In October of 1971, still a vigorous 88, she was preparing seascapes for exhibit at the Miami Dinner Key Boat Show. She died in Miami in 1977, at the age of ninety-four. Her painting Old Oak, done near Mandarin, Florida was reported to have inspired Tiffany to design a stained-glass window of the subject.

Clara Prince, House of a Hundred Years, Key West. From Miami Herald, February 23, 1941.

Born: 1883, Detroit, Michigan. Died: September 1977, Miami. Education: Columbus Art College, Columbus, Ohio; with Eliot O’Hara. Membership: Fine Art Society of Jacksonville; Miami Art League; Blue Dome Fellowship, 1940, director; Florida Federation of Art, recording secretary 1941-42; Society of The Four Arts; Palm Beach Art League; National League of American Pen Women; World Organization of China Painters; Amateur Artists Association of Miami. Exhibits: Fine Arts Society of Jacksonville, January 1930, Chamber of Commerce building, St. Johns River View, Dunes Jacksonville Beach; Florida Federation of Art, annual circuit, 1932; Miami Woman’s Club 7th Annual exhibit, February 1935, still life flower paintings and Palms on Jacksonville Beach; Blue Dome Fellowship Annual Exhibition, Miami Beach Library and Art Center, January 1937; Miami Woman’s Club, 10th annual, North Bayshore drive, February 1938, A Florida Key; Cruise ship North Star to Caribbean Islands, March 1938; Florida Federation of Art 12th Annual, Society of Four Arts, Palm Beach, December 1938, watercolors, Neptune’s Garden and Trade Winds; Miami Art League, at Miami Beach Public Library, December 1939; Studio of Associated Artists, 111 N. E. Third avenue, March 1940; Miami Art League at Miami Beach Public Library, November 1940, award of merit, decoration; Blue Dome Fellowship at Molka Reich studio, March 1940, Trade Winds; Blue Dome Fellowship at Miami Beach Public Library, January 1941, Miami watercolor scenes; Studio of Associated Artists, 111 N.E. Third avenue Miami, January 1941; Blue Dome Fellowship, College Cupboard, Coral Gables, February-March 1941, including Highway and Waterway (near Jupiter Point, Fla.), Old Mansion (near St. Augustine), Old Spanish Mission, Moon Fish, Trade Winds and House of a Hundred Years (Done at Key West and pictured in Miami Herald February 23, 1941); Housekeepers Club, Coconut Grove, February 1941; Blue Dome Gallery of the College Cupboard, Giralda avenue, Coral Gables, March 1941, one-man exhibit, including Highway and Waterway (near Jupiter point, Fla.), Old Mansion (near St. Augustine), Old Spanish Mission, Moon Fish, Old Key West House, Mandarin, Blue Hydrangea Blossom, and large orchid studies; Washington Storage Art Gallery, May 1941; Miami Art League, Miami Beach Public Library, November 1941; Miami Art League, Associated Artists Gallery, Leamington Hotel, November 1942; Blue Dome Fellowship, Miami, December 1942, Magnolias; Miami Art League, Miami Associated Artists new gallery, 1822 Biscayne Blvd, April 1943; Miami Woman’s Club, February 1944; Blue Dome Fellowship, first exhibit after World War II, in cooperation with Miami Woman’s Club, Miami Art League, Burdine’s Department Store, February 1947; Miami Woman’s Club 19th Annual, Artists and Writers Breakfast, February 18, 1947, gold star; Blue Dome Fellowship, at Housekeeper’s Clubhouse, 2985 Bayshore Drive, January-February 1948; American Artist’s Professional League, American Art Week Exhibit, Burdine’s, Miami, November 1950, watercolor, flowers; North Miami Business and Professional Woman’s Club Exhibit, North Miami store fronts and later, Peoples Gas Company, November 1951; Miami Art League, Miami Beach Art Center, November 1951, watercolor, Springtime at the Shack; Miami Boat Show Art Exhibit, Dinner Key auditorium, February 1953, boat or dock scene, honorable mention, Miami Docks; Allied Arts of North Miami, at City Hall, November 1953, Mexican Still-life; National League of American Pen Women, Tampa, 1954, 1st prize; National League of American Pen Women’s Art Exhibit, Miami Woman’s Club, March 1954, honorable mention; Allied Arts of North Miami. North Miami City Hall, November 1955, 2nd prize watercolor landscape, Lovers Lane; Allied Artists of North Miami, December 1959, Myrtle Taylor Bradford award for An Alpine Village; Amateur Artists Association of Miami, at Dupont Plaza, November 1962, prize.

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