Carroll Cloar was born on his family's farm near Earle, Arkansas, in 1913, and throughout his life he used images of rural America in his work, sometimes portraying events from his own life. Cloar's Realism was sometimes compared to Edward Hopper's, sometimes to Ben Shahn's and it also had a distinct Surrealist slant.
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 President Clinton's 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.
He studied at Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College) and the Memphis College of Art, and New York’s Art Students League. He won an Edward MacDowell Scholarship at the league in 1940 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 1946.
Roberta Smith, “A Realist Painter of Rural America, The New York Times, 13 April 1993,