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The Unknown Blakelock
January 25 - April 6, 2008
Presenting more than 40 paintings on view together for the first time, "The Unknown Blakelock" offers a grand vision of the work of Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847-1919) beginning January 25, 2008 at Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. (right Ralph Albert Blakelock, "Japanese Lantern and Moths," undated, 8 x 4 5/8 inches, collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Blakelock Wilson)
Sheldon has organized the exhibition with works from its collections and loans from 34 museums and collectors throughout the country. In October, the exhibition will be on view at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York City.
Known as a 19th-century tonalist painter, Blakelock has been historically associated with two dominant themes -- moonlight scenes and Indian encampments. Critics have largely overlooked the painter's broader accomplishments, which have been obscured by his tragic mental illness and numerous forgeries produced in his style.
Modern art scholars, including Norman Geske, Sheldon director emeritus, in his recently published "Beyond Madness: The Art of Ralph Albert Blakelock," find a proto-modern vision in the artist's works and his influence on several generations of 20th-century painters.
This exhibition's more comprehensive view of Blakelock's work includes Western and Jamaican landscapes, shanty scenes, seascapes, still lifes and imaginary/fantasy compositions.
One gallery in the exhibition will be devoted to the authentication of Blakelock's work. In 1969, Geske established the Nebraska Blakelock Inventory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to analyze paintings attributed to the artist.
The exhibition opens January 25, with Geske's 5:30 p.m. keynote address titled, "Why Blakelock?" in the Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium. A public reception will follow his address.
A symposium beginning at 9 a.m. January 26 will feature three speakers:
A podcast of the symposium will be available online at the Gallery's website.
Registration fee for the Blakelock Symposium. Students with a college or high school identification may register free. To preregister, call Monica Babcock at (402) 472-2463 or send a check to the Blakelock Symposium at Sheldon, P.O. Box 680300, Lincoln, NE 68588-0300. Admission to the keynote address and to the exhibition are free.
A gallery guide and catalogue will accompany the exhibition, which runs through April 6. The Blakelock paintings in the exhibition will be reinstalled at Sheldon in May with works from the museum's permanent collection to illustrate the artist's influence on contemporary American painters. The reinstallation will be on view through August. To read the gallery guide essay by Sharon L. Kennedy please click here.
The exhibition and publications are funded by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, as well as Ameritas Charitable Foundation, the Nebraska Arts Council, Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, Friends of Norman Geske, the Geske Paris Travelers and the Nebraska Art Association.
Resource Library readers may also enjoy:
references to the artist in:
and from Wikipedia:
and these books:
Beyond Madness: The Art of Ralph Blakelock, 1847-1919, By Norman A. Geske, Contributor Peter H. Hassrick, Published 2007 by University of Nebraska Press, 227 pages. ISBN 0803222076. Google Books says of the book:
The Unknown Night: The Madness and Genius of R.A. Blakelock, By Glyn Vincent, Published 2003 by Grove Press, 362 pages. ISBN 0802117341. Google Books says of the book:
To read excerpts from this book, choose a Google Books full view books search, enter the artist's full name plus the word "artist" and then when the search results are retrieved click on The Unknown Night: The Madness and Genius of R.A. Blakelock.
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