Clarence Carter was one of Cleveland's finest painters of the American scene. A native of Portsmouth, Ohio, Carter studied with Keller, Travis, and Wilcox at the Cleveland School of Art from 1923-1927. William Milliken of the Cleveland Museum of Art was so impressed with Carter's student work that he provided Carter with the resources to travel in Europe for nearly a year. In 1930 Carter returned to Cleveland, where he taught studio classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art until 1937.
–from William H. Robinson's essay on "The American Scene Movement in Cleveland" in the Cleveland Museum of Art's exhibition catalog Transformations in Cleveland Art 1796-1946.
"My fascination with the circus and the activities that revolved around it came very early, as did my interest in art. In fact they went hand in hand."
– Clarence Holbrook Carter
Carter's fascination with circuses went hand in hand with his interest in art.