Carroll Cloar was born on his family's farm near Earle, Arkansas, in 1913. Throughout his life he used images of rural America in his work, sometimes portraying events from his own life. Cloar's narrative realism is frequnetly compared to Edward Hopper's, Ben Shahn and Robert Gwathmey. As Cloar said, "Each painting is a sort of story. There is a fantasy and folk tale in them."
Among many honors, a 1966 Cloar painting, “Faculty and Honor Students, Lewis Schoolhouse” of children holding an American flag backwards, was reproduced on a poster commemorating fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton's Presidential Inauguration. Cloar’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.