RVA50 Object 39 “Martha in the Atelier Courtyard, 1931″

Martha Denham Portrait

“Martha in the Atelier Courtyard,” 1931
Adele Goodman Clark (1882-1983)
Oil on canvas

Adele Goodman Clark was an American artist and suffragist.  Born in Montgomery, Alabama, her family settled in Richmond in 1894.  Clark attended the Miss Virginia Randolph Ellett School (now St. Catherine’s) before going to New York on a scholarship in 1906 to study under William Merritt Chase.

In 1909, Clark’s activist career began when she banded together with her partner Nora Houston to establish the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia.  Adele Clark also put her campaign for equal rights into her artistic work, saying, “I’ve always tried to combine my interest in art with my interest in government.”

Martha Denham was Clark’s secretary.  This work was painted in the garden of the artist’s home, called “The Brattery,” at 3614 Chamberlayne Avenue in 1931.

Gift of Mrs. Adeline Cowles Cox, 1983