San Francisco Art@Site Thomas Shields Clark Apple Cider Press

Thomas Shields Clark


Apple Cider Press

Golden Gate Park
Thomas Shields Clarke (April 25, 1860 – November 15, 1920) was an American painter and sculptor. He is best known for his bronze sculpture The Cider Press, in San Francisco.
Clarke debuted a plaster sculpture group, The Cider Press, at the Paris Salon of 1892. It depicts a muscular father pressing apples while his young son samples the juice.
Clarke designed it to be a public drinking fountain, with water to flow out of the press and into a bucket at its base. The Cider Press was exhibited at the 1892 Historical American Exposition in Madrid, at which King Alfonso presented Clarke with a medal (the only one awarded to a foreign sculptor).
A larger-than-life-size bronze version was cast in Paris by Jaboeuf & Bezout Fondeurs, and exhibited at the 1893 World's Fair. The following year, it was exhibited at the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, in San Francisco. The Exposition's Executive Committee purchased the sculpture and presented it to the city.
It was installed as a drinking fountain in Golden Gate Park in 1894. Vandalism caused it to be relocated to the grounds of the De Young Museum.
This 1892 Bronze sculpture was originally exhibited at the Midwinter International Exposition in 1894. The Apple Cider Bronze bears some resemblance to Douglas Tilden’s Mechanics Monument located on Market street in that it bears tribute to the value of hard work. However, this purchase and contribution by DeYoung was apparently inspired by art rather than memorial, since the only cider industry of note in the San Francisco Bay Area is Martinelli’s (1868) located in Watsonville, down the peninsula.
This statue was originally a drinking fountain with a cup attached by a chain, and some say it ran with cider instead of water.
Thomas Shields Clark graduated from Princeton University in 1882. He was a pupil of the Art Students League, New York, and of the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, later he entered the atelier of Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, and, becoming interested in sculpture, he worked for a while under Henri Chapu. As a sculptor, he received a medal of honor in Madrid for his Cider Press.