American-born francophile Henry Clarke (1918-1996) was a celebrated photographer. He was the quintessential American in Paris, his Irish heritage only adding to his already considerable charm. His talent and discerning eye were rapidly recognized and in 1950 he was hired by Vogue where he remained for close to thirty years. Clarke's unforgettable portraits include those of Katherine Helburn, Sophia Loren, Coco Chanel and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Clarke was also a keen collector, his friendship with the antiquaire Raymond Poteau being instrumental in the collection of important works of art in Clarke's Parisian apartment and Roquebrune villa. A philanthropist, Clarke bequeathed his photographic patrimoine to the Musée de la Mode et du Costume in Paris, and the rest of his possessions to the Institut Pasteur.