Clara E. Sipprell was one of America's most important pictorial photographers of the early 20th century. Born in Canada, she moved to Buffalo, New York after her oldest brother Francis opened a photography studio. She worked part-time as an apprentice, but eventually dropped out of school to work full-time at his studio, where she learned all different types of photographic techniques. She partnered with him in 1905, and after working together for ten years and having many successful shows, she opened a studio in New York City and eventually traveled all over the world.
Clara E. Sipprell's use of a soft-focus lens and her reliance upon entirely natural light gave her photographs an atmospheric effect and moody romanticism. She was a successful portraitist, photographing such notable people as Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost, and Albert Einstein. However, she did not confine herself to that genre. Her landscapes, cityscapes, and still-life subjects were exhibited in national and international salons, galleries, and museums. There are over 1,000 photographs by Sipprell in the Amon Carter Museum collection, a gift from The Dorothea Leonhardt Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas, Inc. The (then) Burchfield Art Center presented a solo exhibition of her work in 1991.