Biographical / Historical
Bob Bilyeu Camblin (1928-2010) was a modernist painter and educator active in Houston, Texas. Camblin experimented with a wide variety of media and is known for collaborative projects with many artists, including a collective known as The Holding Firm with Earl Staley and Joe Tate in Houston.
Born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Camblin served in the United State Army (1948-1949) and Air Force (1950-1951) before receiving his bachelor of fine arts in 1954, and his master of fine arts degree in 1955. He worked as a map make from 1955-1958 before holding teaching posts at multiple institutions including the Kansas City Art Institute, the Ringling School of Art, Sarasota Florida, the University of Illinois, the University of Detroit, the University of Utah, and Rice University in Houston.
While living in Houston Camblin collaborated with artists Earl Staley and Joe Tate, as the B. E. and J. Holding Firm, or The Holding Firm. The collective worked on multiple projects including paintings, drawings, art excursions, and exhibitions.
Camblin's first one-man show was held in 1955 at the Kansas City Art Institute and his work has been exhibited in other solo exhibitions including at Oklahoma State University (1961), Plumtree Gallery, Salt Lake City, Utah (1965-1966), Windsor College, Canada (1965), David Gallery, Houston (1969-1970), and the Graham Gallery in Houston (1989). Camblin participated in many group exhibitions including ART:USA 58 (1958), Fulbright Artists Exhibition, Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City (1958), Childe Hassam Purchase Fund Show, American Academy of Arts and Letters (1958), and Printmaking in Texas: The 1980s Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth (1990).