William Clapp was a painter and etcher who was born in Montreal, Canada to American parents on October 29, 1879. At age six, Clapp moved to California with his family settling in Oakland where he spent his childhood. In 1900, he returned to Montreal for four years of study with William Brymner, followed by further study in Paris at the Academies Julian, Colarossi, and Grande Chaumiere. After his European studies, he returned to Montreal where he was elected an associate member of the Royal Canadian Art Academy. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design, Carnegie Institute, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before returning to Oakland in 1917. He served as director and curator of the Oakland Art Gallery from 1918-49. In this position, and as a member of a group of painters known as the Society of Six, he arranged exhibitions of their works from 1923-28. For six years he operated the Clapp School of Art in Oakland. His early works reflect the Impressionist style, whereas his later works are Pointillist in style. Clapp is as well known in Canada as he is in the U.S. He died in Oakland on April 21, 1954.