Second director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1905-10) and the South Kensington Museum. Clarke was the son of Edward Marmaduke Clarke, of Somerset family and Mary Agnes Close. He studied architecture at the National Art Training Schools at South Kensington between 1862-1865. In that year he joined the government office assigned to rebuilding the Houses of Parliament. Clarke married Frances Susannah Collins in 1866. In 1867 he moved to the South Kensington Museum where he oversaw mosaic reproduction.