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 Morris Atkinson Blackburn  (1902 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/New Mexico      Known for: screen printmaking, modernist still life-view painting

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Morris Atkinson Blackburn
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Biography from Newman Galleries:
Morris Blackburn was born in Philadelphia in 1902. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts*, and with Arthur B. Carles, Jr.  He won Cresson Traveling Scholarship* to Europe in 1928 and 1929, and was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship* in painting and graphic art in 1952.   In addition to his work as a painter, he is well known for his accomplishments as an etcher, engraver, lithographer and serigrapher.

Among Mr. Blackburn's awards are the John Gribbel Prize, Philadelphia Print Club, 1942; Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1946; Fellowship Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts*, 1949; Rosenwald Fund Grant*, Print Club, 1950; Mary S. Collins Prize, Print Club, 1950; Harrison S. Morris Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1951; Thornton Oakley Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1960.

He is represented in the following public collections: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, the Clearwater Museum, the United States State Department, Free Library of Philadelphia, Woodmere Art Museum, Pennsylvania State University, Library of Congress, Childe Hassam Fund-University of Montana, Fleisher Art Memorial, Friends Central School, and the New Jersey State Museum.

Mr. Blackburn had many one-man exhibitions and his work has been shown widely in the United States, as well as in Europe, Canada and India. He also served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The artist died in 1979.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary


Biography from William R Talbot Fine Art:
The Philadelphia artist Morris Blackburn (1902–1979) is noted for his ingenious use of printmaking materials and techniques. He was one of the first artists in the early 1940s to use screen printing for fine art prints.

Blackburn owned a house in Taos, New Mexico and spent virtually every summer there until 1969. His work represents a compendium of transatlantic stylistic developments spanning the first half of the twentieth century. A masterful painter, printmaker, and graphic artist, he was a legendary teacher at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, inspiring a host of students in the arts of painting and printmaking.

Ref.: Sandra D’Emilio and Suzan Campbell, Spirit & Vision: Images of Ranchos de Taos Church (Santa Fe: The Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987), pp. 1–2, 15.

Biography from Butler Institute of American Art:
Morris Blackburn studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and exhibited from the 1930s-70s, at the Art Institute of Chicago, National Academy of Design, Metropolitan Museum, and the Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe).

Born : Philadelphia, PA October 13 1902

Education : Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and privately with Arthur B. Carles, Jr.

Teaching : Philadelphia Museum School of Art 1933-1941; Stella Elkins Tyler School of Art 1948-1952 Pthe Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1952 -

Awards : William Emlen Cresson European Traveling Scholarship 1944; Print Club; Honorable mention American Color Print Society 1943; Third prize American Color Print Society 1944; Honorable Mention Northwest Print Makers 1943; Gold Medal Award and Fellowship at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1949; Mary S. Collins Prize 1950; Lessing J. Rosenwald Prize 1950; Harrison S. Morris Prize Equity Regional P.A.F.A. 1951; Honorable mention Philadelphia Art Alliance 1952; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Painting and Graphics 1952; Honorable Mention National Serigraph Society 1953; Thornton Oakley Prize 1955; Pyramid Club Award 1960; Zimmerman Prize 1960; Merit Award Ocean City, NJ 1968; Philadelphia Water Color Club Medal 1969; The Percy Owens Memorial Prize 1972; Dawson Memorial Prize 1974.

Exhibits : over 40 one man shows.

Holdings : Philadelphia Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; The Capehart Collection; U.S. State Department; Brooks Memorial Art Gallery; American University Women's Collection; Clearwater Museum; Rosenwald Collection; Rochester Institute of Technology; Woodmere Art Gallery; Library of Congress; Penn State University; University of Montana; Fleisher Art Memorial; Friends Central School; New Jersey State Museum; New Mexico Museum of Art.

Source: Art Students League publication)

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