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 Walter Blackman  (1847 - 1928)

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois      Known for: figure, landscape, genre, marine

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Ad Code: 3
Walter Blackman
from Auction House Records.
Woman with Upswept Hair
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Walter Blackman was born in New York in 1847 and died December 13, l928 in Chicago, Illinois. He received his formal training under the hand of Jean-Leon Gerome. Walter Blackman was drawn to Paris's three ateliers that were established at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1863, under the direction, respectively, of Gerome Cabanel and Isidore Pils (1813-1875).

It was Gerome who was most popular among American painters. His consistency of rigorous academic style and durability as a teacher made him a significant resource for dozens of American students; Thomas Eakins, Fredric Arthur Bridgeman, Edwin Lord Weeks, Kenyon Cox, Julius L. Stewart, Mary Cassat and Walter Blackman.

Although Gerome heavily influenced Walter Blackman's style, Alexander Cabanel also influenced him. Walter Blackman's friend, Thomas Hovenden, was studying at the Beaux-Arts studio under Cabanel in 1874-75. It was through this friendship that Blackman became acquainted with Cabanel's techniques. It was the combination of Gerome's journalistic, humanizing approach and Cabanel's more melodramatic style that molded Blackman's final approach to his own painting.

Walter Blackman became a member of the Association of American Artists in Paris. Beginning in the 1860's independent studios began to become appealing. Groups of students, like Blackman, began seeking alternatives to continued emphasis on draftsmanship and on classical tradition. They organized two studios, in which Bonnat and Carolus-Duran were visiting critics. These artists also exhibited together and it is recorded that Walter Blackman exhibited "Caught in the Act" in the 1878 exhibit. Before these French exhibitions, Walter Blackman had returned to New York to embark on a career as a painter and poet. Blackman worked extremely hard exhibiting at the National Academy between 1868-1878.

Like many other artists during this period, Blackman found it difficult to establish himself in New York. He left New York for London after exhibiting two paintings at the National Academy "Game of Quibbles" Lot #286 and "Signal" Lot #449. Upon his arrival in London, he received an invitation to exhibit at the Royal Academy. Exhibition records in London note that he was actively exhibiting between 1878 and 1895. Records at the Royal Academy give these two titles "Crossing the Brook" (1880) and "Venetian Market Girl" (1895).

The Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893, the New English arts' Club 1888-1917. Pg. 42
Dictionary of Artists, Graves. Pg. 27
Index of Artists, Mallett, Pg. 39
The Dictionary of American Artists Sculptures and Engravers, Pg. 48
Mantle Fielding, Pg. 76
Who's Who in American Art. Pg. 58
E. Benezit, Volume II page 61
Exhibition of the National Academy 1861-1900, Vol. 1
The Dictionary of Victorian Painters by Christopher Wood, Pg. 51

Roughton Galleries

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