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 Dwight Blaney  (1865 - 1944)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Maine      Known for: town-landscape, coastal view, floral and snowscene painting

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Ad Code: 3
Dwight Blaney
from Auction House Records.
Across the Ice
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
"Dwight Blaney and William Procter on the Molluscan Faunas of Frenchman Bay and Ironbound Island, Maine" by Richard I. Johnson, (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.

In the early twentieth century, Dwight Blaney (1865–1944) and William Procter (1872–1951), two men of disparate genteel backgrounds, congregated in the summers with many of America's social elite in Maine's Bar Harbor region.  Not prone to idleness, Blaney and Procter dredged the waters of Frenchman Bay for marine mollusks, Blaney in 1901–1909 and Procter in 1926–1932.

Blaney collected 149 species: 6 chitons, 62 bivalves, 2 scaphopods, and 79 gastropods. Two of the mollusks were new species that were named after him: Tonicella blaneyi (a chiton) and Oenopota blaneyi (a gastropod).  In 1904, Blaney made a survey of the land snails of Ironbound Island, his home in Frenchman Bay, finding 19 species.  This survey remains the definitive study of the island.

In 1916, Blaney and paleontologist Frederic Brewster Loomis extricated 23 marine mollusks from the Pleistocene clays of Mount Desert Island. Nine of these species were no longer living in Frenchman Bay, but had presumably moved to more northern climes. From 1904 to 1916, Blaney published seven scientific papers on the mollusks of Maine. His collection of Indian artifacts from coastal shell middens was among the earliest acquisitions of the Abbe Museum in Acadia National Park. Procter, working from his research laboratory at Corfield Cottage, his summer estate at Bar Harbor, collected 137 molluscan species from Frenchman Bay and environs: 5 chitons, 52 bivalves, 2 scaphopods, 77 gastropods (including O. blaneyi), and 1 cephalopod.

Together, Blaney and Procter discovered 159 marine mollusk species in the vicinity of Frenchman Bay, of which 126 (79.3%) were in both collections. Their efforts still constitute the documented molluscan inventory for the region. Between 1927 and 1946, Procter published four volumes on natural history studies, especially of insects but including the marine mollusks and other fauna, under the title Biological Survey of the Mount Desert Region.

Northeastern Naturalist, June 2009

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Dwight Blaney was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1865. He was originally trained as an architect.  Encouraged by his friend, John Singer Sargent he traveled to Europe to paint where he was influenced by Monet and the Impressionists. 

He painted at Fenway Studios in Boston from 1906-43 and would visit Bermuda often.  He also spent summers in Maine at his home on Ironbound Island.

Of visits by John Singer Sargent to Blaney on Ironbound Island, the following was written by Blaney's grandson, Ben Blaney, and submitted to JSS Gallery.  The reference is specifically to a painting by Sargent of Blaney titled The Artist Sketching.

John Singer Sargent visited my grandfather Dwight Blaney several times on Ironbound Island, and made at least 7 paintings there, only 2 of which I found on your site-- On the Verandah & The Artist Sketching, (both showing his friend and fellow artist Dwight Blaney). . .  Both . . . were painted on Ironbound Island, Dwight Blaney's summer home in Maine, where a number of fellow artists visited him.  (See the article 'Dwight Blaney: An American Impressionist' in American Art Review, vol. 19, no. 1(Jan-Feb, 2002), p.184-187. 

Dwight Blaney's Ironbound Island lies in Frenchman Bay, about 3 miles East of Bar Harbor, ME.  Dwight died in 1944, though the family still goes there seasonally.  The big house, the one in On the Verandah burned the summer of 1944.  A log cabin stands on the site today.

On the Verandah
shows Dwight Blaney & his wife Edith with their 2 daughters Elizabeth (l) and Margaret (r). 

The article in American Art Review gives a short biography of Dwight.

Elizabeth Stillinger has a chapter on Dwight in her book The Antiquers (NY: Knopf, 1980), 105-112.  She, of course, emphasizes his role as an antique collector of American antiques. Dwight was interested in all kinds of craftsmanship, whether painting, woodworking, silver, etc.

Clark Point Gallery

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