Jack Clarkson, sculptor, wood carver and painter, was born at Silsden. He began his art training at Keighley School of Art 1921-27, before winning a Scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Gilbert Ledward and Henry Moore, during the period 1927-1930. Moore was particularly influential in encouraging both his painting and sculpture.
From 1930-1944, he was Head of the Sculpture at Sheffield College of Art and in 1945 was appointed Principal of Newcastle-under-Lyme Art School, a position he was to hold until his retirement until 1968. He continued to live in Newcastle-under-Lyme on his retirement, devoting his time to wood-carving birds and human forms. The industrial landscape of The Potteries inspired many of his oil paintings and the figures in the scenes are often shown as being dwarfed by the factories around them.
He exhibited his work widely, including the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Arts, and the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield. His work is in the permanent collections of Hanley Art Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight, and at Cartwright Hall, Bradford.