Artist Kate Freeman Clark (1875-1957) left behind over one thousand paintings now stored at a gallery bearing her name in her hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi. But it was not until after her death in 1957 at the age of eighty-one that citizens even discovered that she was a painter of considerable stature. In her will, Clark left the city her family home, her paintings stored at a warehouse in New York for over forty years, and money to build a gallery, much to the surprise of the Holly Springs community.
As a young woman, Clark studied art in New York and took classes with some of the greatest American artists of the day. From the start Clark approached the study of art with discipline and tenacity. She learned from William Merritt Chase when he opened his own school in 1895. For six consecutive summers at his Shinnecock Summer School of Art in Long Island, she mastered the plein air technique. Chase trained many female students, yet he recognized Clark as "his most talented pupil." The book prints, for the first time, excerpts from Clark's delightful journal of the artist's experience at Chase's school, giving readers firsthand reporting of an artist-led school in the early twentieth century.