Remembering the Professor and Sculptor Whose Whimsical Work Gained a Worldwide Following

gnomes sculpted by Tom Clark

Tom Clark, former Davidson professor and renowned gnome sculptor, graduated from Davidson in 1949 and joined the religion department in 1958, teaching for 26 years.

His lively intellect and his sense of humor made his Bible courses and his signature course on Christianity and art among the college’s first interdisciplinary courses, popular among students. Even after leaving the classroom in 1985 to focus on his art, he was in high demand by alumni as a Reunion speaker. Clark’s gnomes—inspired by real people —were sold around the world and in more than 5,000 U.S.-based stores. The business grew quite a bit from the early days of digging clay from the creek in the middle of Patterson Court. Clark passed away last week and is remembered for his dry wit in the classroom, his artistic gifts in the studio and the Ford Thunderbird he drove around town, earning him the nickname “T-Bird Tommy.”

Read a full article published by News of Davidson.