Marie Clarke, Professor Emerita, Passes Away

Marie Clarke, Professor Emerita, Apparel Design passed away on Tuesday April 26, 2016.  She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Clarke graduated from Pratt Institute of Design in 1948.  Prior to teaching at RISD, she designed for Max Schenk and Brothers in New York City, Bancroft Sports and Bennett & Co. in Newburyport, MA among other design firms.  She was also Head of Design for India Imports of Rhode Island. Clarke was a member of The Costume Society of America and the Fashion Group International. Clarke was cited in Who’s Who of American Women, was an active volunteer for a number of non-profit organizations and a strong role model for generations of young women.

Clarke, a faculty member in the Apparel Design Department for twenty-eight years, was revered by her students and colleagues alike.  She was adjunct faculty from 1972-1976 and full-time faculty member 1976-2000.  Clarke served as Chief Critic of the European Honors Program (EHP) in Rome from 1997-1999 and also spent two sabbaticals in Italy.  Her familiarity with the culture and city of Rome were great assets during her tenure at the EHP. She lectured on “The Body: Distorted or Decorated” as part of RISD’s (Re)Presenting the Body Colloquium and guest curated  the “Finery, Frippery and Fancy Dress” exhibition at the Newport Historical Society. She was honored as Professor Emerita in 2000. She remained active in the RISD community and continued to attend Apparel Design Department critiques and the annual “Collection” fashion show.

Clarke is survived by her husband, Banice Webber and by her son Andrew Clarke of Chicago and his wife LaDoris Duncan, her daughter Helene Clarke Lasker and her husband Eric, and grandchildren Carl and Justin Lasker. The funeral will be held Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 1pm in the Historic Chapel at Swan Point Cemetery, Blackstone Blvd in Providence, RI. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of R.I., 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904. Condolences may be left at






Division of Architecture + Design, Marie Clarke, obituary

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