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Catalog Data

Blair, Robert N. (Robert Noel), 1912-2003  Search this
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Albright Art School (Buffalo, N.Y.)  Search this
Arts Institute of Buffalo  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
2 Items (sound cassettes (2 hrs.), analog.)
66 Pages (Transcript)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
1994 November 30-1995 August 27
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Robert Blair conducted 1994 November 30-1995 August 27, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Blair talks about his father, a Vermonter, who went to Harvard Law School and became a corporation lawyer in Buffalo, and his mother, a Rochester, New York native, who went to Cornell and taught Greek and Latin in New York State schools before marriage; being an indifferent student until he went to the Albright Art School in Buffalo, although instruction there was perfunctory; attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1931-1934), recalling especially his two British drawing teachers, Guthrie and Burns, and Frederick Allen who taught sculpture, and fellow student, Carl Johnson, summers with his family in Vermont and the pleasant primitive farm life; his first teaching job -- Saturday children's classes at the Buffalo Museum of Science and his first exhibitions in Buffalo and New York City, including a show at the Morton Gallery, New York (1940) from which the Metropolitan Museum purchased a large watercolor; his love of using unusual implements to paint with; his service in World War II, in which he was assigned to design training aids and to paint war scenes.
Blair continues discussion of his service as an airborne soldier and artist in Belgium and Germany during World War II; returning from the War to direct the Arts Institute of Buffalo and his long friendship with Charles Burchfield; Philip Elliott, painter and teacher at the rival Albright Art School in Buffalo; traveling throughout the US and Mexico, painting wherever he camped; his work and proficiency in watercolor; and the value of figure studies, which he does regularly with other artists.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Blair (1912-2003) is a painter, printmaker, and instructor of Buffalo, New York.
Originally recorded 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 30 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, American  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Buffalo  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art