Artist – Ealíontóir
1884 – 1961
Margaret Clarke was born at 17 Thomas Street, Newry, County Down on 1 August 1884, one of six children of Patrick Crilly. She trained at Newry Technical School and the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art under Orpen in 1905, being known as his favourite pupil and becoming his teaching assistant in 1911 when she graduated. She won medals for oil painting, and first exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1913, continuing to exhibit there until 1953. She visited Aran in order to paint and in 1914 married Harry Clarke. She used her children and her family as subjects for her pictures, and as a consequence received many commissions from the 1920s onwards. She painted portraits of, among others, Lennox Robinson, President de Valera, and Archbishop McQuaid. She taught in the Dublin School of Art and the Royal Hibernian Academy, and won many prizes for her work. After her husband died in 1931 she directed the Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studios, with her daughter. She became a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1927.
She was buried in Redford cemetery, Greystones, County Wicklow and her work is in the National Gallery of Ireland, the Ulster Museum and in Cork and Limerick.
Date of Unveiling: 2 November 2007
Location of plaque: Thomas Street, Newry
Report of Plaque unveiling available HERE