Clara Thomas Interview, February 1984


Clara Thomas


Dennis Kern



Download Audio Interview (76.8 MB)

Download Transcript of Clara Thomas Interview (316 KB)


Clara Thomas talks about the life of the American Western artist Fra Broadwell Dana and their friendship. Thomas describes Dana as an intelligent, charming, and caring person who was an astute business woman, working on her husband’s ranch on Pass Creek, as well as an accomplished artist. Thomas recalls the difference between Dana’s relationships with her close friends and her relationships with her art professors, including Alfred Maurer and William Merritt Chase. Thomas also talks about how the Pass Creek ranching community appeared to be jealous of Dana’s success, and disapproved of her decision to study in Europe while her husband remained on the ranch. Thomas reminisces about Dana’s husband, Edwin Dana, whom she remembers as an extremely kind person and a talented poet. Thomas concludes by discussing Dana’s health and her struggle with cancer, which she succumbed to in 1948.


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Document Type

Oral History


Modernist Art; Pass Creek, Montana; Great Falls; Montana Museum of Art and Culture, University of Montana; Thomas, Carla – Interviews; Dana, Fra Broadwell, 1874-1948 -- Friends and associates -- Interviews; Women painters -- Montana -- Biography.; Dana, E. L. (Edwin Lester), 1864-1946 -- Friends and associates -- Interviews.; Ranchers -- Montana -- Biography; Artists -- Montana -- Biography; Impressionist artists -- Montana -- Biography; Maurer, Alfred Henry, 1868-1932 -- Friends and associates; Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916 -- Friends and associates; Sharp, Joseph Henry, 1859-1953 -- Friends and associates; Dana Ranch (Mont.)

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Montana Artists, Authors, and Journalists Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 115-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (20 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:01:44 minutes

Local Filename

OH_115_001.mp3; OH_115_001.pdf

Clara Thomas Interview, February 1984