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Hello From Diane Patrick (sinclair Clark’s Granddaughter)--announcing Sinclair Clark Wikipedia Page!

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Diane Patrick, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. Diane Patrick

    Diane Patrick New Member

    Greetings, everyone!

    Diane Patrick here, granddaughter of Sinclair Clark, announcing that I have just created a SINCLAIR CLARK Wikipedia page!

    Although I’m posting here on taxidermy.net for the first time, I have actually spent many hours deep in these threads, where your recollections not only made it possible for me to piece together his professional story, but provided clues from which I could verify important parts of it. So I want to say to all of you: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU so very much, for your stories and comments about Sinclair Clark!

    As a result, I give you the very first entry on the Internet dedicated to Sinclair Clark: the Wikipedia page I created, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Clark_(taxidermist)

    Backstory: This all started in 1995, when I decided to search for my biological father, whom I’d never known; all I knew was that his name--different from mine--was Sinclair Clark. (My mother had died in 1964 when I was eight years old, and I was sent to live with my older half-brother and his family.)

    As an adult, I focused on researching who my mother was—but all my research led to dead ends. So it wasn't until the age of 40 that I decided to turn my curiosity to my father, about whom I had solid clues which soon paid off, and I was able to connect with the family. His son/my uncle Vincent Clark, who turned out to be the family historian, informed me that my father had died, but that my grandfather, Sinclair Sr., was alive, 90 years old, and wanted to meet me. Vincent sent photos from the family archives: one, my grandfather with the elephant in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC; another, grandfather in front of a wall of mounted deer heads and such. Was he a taxidermist? I asked. Yes, Vincent said simply--but didn't elaborate. I got to meet my grandfather, we smiled at each other but didn't have the lively conversation I was hoping for. He died five years later.

    Fast forward to 2013: I was working my temp job as a convention staffer, at the International Toy Fair at the Javits Convention Center, issuing badges as they spit out of a printer. A badge reading "Tom Delfico, Taxidermist" made me comment "Oh, my grandfather was a taxidermist. He worked on the elephant in the Smithsonian in DC."

    Delfico said to me: "Was your grandfather's name Sinclair Clark?"

    I almost fell over!! "How the hell do you know my grandfather's name?"

    With tears in his eyes, he replied "Because he taught me everything I know!"

    And that magical encounter was how I learned of my grandfather’s reputation in the taxidermy industry. Through Tom Delfico, I met Sinclair’s protégé John Janelli, who over the years filled in the story for me, and more than once walked me through AMNH and pointed out to me the animals whose skins Sinclair tanned. Through a personal friend who’d been a librarian at AMNH, I also met Stephen Quinn, the museum’s director of exhibits, who gave me a tour of the museum’s workshop area and shared a few anecdotes about Sinclair, whom he’d never met. In the elevator, he spotted and introduced me to George Dante, there because Lonesome George, the famous tortoise, was arriving that day! (At the time, I didn’t know what any of that was about, but I do now because George and I have reconnected via social media!)

    Still, as a busy freelance editor, journalist, and convention worker, I didn’t have time to sit and organize all the materials I was now in possession of… until the pandemic. On March 8, 2020 as I traveled home from working my last show (The Armory Art Show in NYC), I made a list of neglected projects to dust off during lockdown, and first on the list was my SINCLAIR PROJECT! Originally, I had considered writing a book, but that seemed too long of a project, plus I never got enthusiastic enough to make it happen.

    After organizing the materials, I turned to the Internet in search of verification of the anecdotal information I had. My first stop was this very site, which made me aware of how important Sinclair is to you all and to the industry. Yet, as visible as his work is, he's not known to the general public. (As a freelancer myself, who works largely behind the scenes and is not interested in public recognition, I fully understand that.) Which is why I decided that instead of a book, I could create a Wikipedia page--and this is only the first step to ensuring that his name is known to the general public. So if you have anything you'd like to share, please do!
  2. wa

    wa Thanks John...this depicts me better

    Very good!
    13 point, Johnnyclyde and msestak like this.

  3. Ken Edwards

    Ken Edwards Taxidermy.Net Administrator Staff Member

  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Outstanding indeed. What a wonderful story to share and a labor of love on the Wiki page. Hope to see more added to it as you find more info.
  5. crablover

    crablover Well-Known Member

    Diane, wow, fantastic! Sinclair was a dear friend whom I met at Jonas Brothers in Mt Vernon. I spent many hours with him in the tannery and he taught me how to use the round wheel. He also shared many tanning formulas he had in a small note book. He was a great man and good friend! Here is a picture of him at the wheel in the tannery at Mt Vernon. It was an honor to know him! SINCLAIR CLARK WRW.jpg
    Diane Patrick likes this.
  6. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    Thanks for posting this. Your Grandfather was a wealth of knowledge and had a huge impact on the taxidermy industry.
  7. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    Great story! I'm sure he would be humbled by the attention