Oral history interview with Robert Noel Blair

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.blair94
Creators:
Blair, Robert N. (Robert Noel), 1912-2003
Brown, Robert F.
Dates:
1994 November 30-1995 August 27
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2 Items
sound cassettes (2 hrs.)
analog.
66 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Robert Blair conducted 1994 November 30-1995 August 27, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
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.
Scope and Contents
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
Biographical / Historical
Robert Blair (1912-2003) is a painter, printmaker, and instructor of Buffalo, New York.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

General
General
Originally recorded 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 30 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Buffalo Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- New York (State) -- Buffalo -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albright Art School (Buffalo, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts Institute of Buffalo Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/