Giles Whiting Estate
Museum of the City of New York
Bernard Danenberg Galleries, New York
Private collection, Omaha
Note: This painting has been authenticated and catalogued by the University of Nebraska Inventory as NBI-2064, category II.
The Blakelock Effect—In the Opinion of Great Artists
In his book The Unknown Night, the Genius and Madness of R. A. Blakelock, an American Painter, Glyn Vincent relates that leading artists William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Franz Kline were fervent admirers of Blakelock’s work. Jamie Wyeth and Andy Warhol also collected his paintings. Marsden Hartley believed that Blakelock was worthy of inclusion as a “plausible basis for a genuine American Art.”
[Blakelock] made a strong impression not only upon American art, but upon the art of the world.––George Bellows, artist, 1916
The Blakelock Effect—In the Opinion of Critics
[Blakelock was] one of the greatest artists America has produced. . . . By every right he deserves a niche equal in importance to the positions held by Winslow Homer, Albert P. Ryder, and Thomas Eakins.––Edward Allen Jewell, art critic of New York Times, 19424
Whatever else may be said about late-nineteenth-century American painting, it must be admitted that it produced a small group [Homer, Blakelock, Eakins, and Ryder] of about the strongest individualists in the history of art.––Robert M. Coates, art critic of The New Yorker, 19475
He was a combination of painter and musician. . . . Blakelock was a mystic and colorist . . . a soul so sensitive, so fiery, highly wrought, that he could scarcely be at home on earth.––Harriet Moore, art critic, 19136
And the Great Dealer
Few American artists deserve a higher niche in the Temple of Fame than R. A. Blakelock. Endowed with unusual gifts, without special training, he has produced work of which any collector might be proud.––William Macbeth, art dealer, 19007
Blakelock: A New Horizon Blakelock stood at the outer edge of imagination, near the supernatural. In defiance of Ruskin’s principles and accepted convention, he painted an image altered by the passage through the innermost chambers of his mind. He did not find his vision from what he saw but rather from what he felt, perceived, and imagined. He progressively deviated from the accepted norm, undeterred by the ever-increasing risk of condemnation as he facilitated the complete unmitigated transfer of his intellect to canvas; with each rebellious stroke, the coordinates that would lead American art to modernism were calibrated in oil and pigment.
On two separate occasions the sale of Blakelock paintings broke an American record, and in 1916 paintings by this insane but incredibly creative American outsold those by Botticelli, Renoir, Monet, Rembrandt, and Pissarro. The art world was stunned that Blakelock had risen above Europe’s most iconic painters.
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, a magnificent Blakelock was auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York, where it sold for $3,530,000, one of the highest prices paid for an American painting in recent years.
Blakelock’s works are in nearly every major American museum, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
 Glyn Vincent, The Unknown Night, the Genius and Madness of R. A. Blakelock, an American Painter (New York: Grove Press, 2003), pp. 303–305; Warhol and Wyeth referenced in “Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth, and Basquait,” http://www.tfaol.com/aa/6aa/6aa349.htm (accessed August 7, 2009).
 Gail R. Scott, ed., On Art by Marsden Hartley (New York: Horizon Press, 1982), p. 168. Quoted in Diane P. Fischer, Paris 1900: The “American School” at the Universal Exposition (New Brunswick, N. J.: Montclair Museum, 1999), p. 190.
 Quoted in “Plans Exhibition to Aid Blakelock,” New-York Tribune, March 21, 1916.
4 Edward Allen Jewell, “Blakelock Work Put in Exhibition,” The New York Times, January 13, 1942.
5 Robert M. Coates, “The Art Galleries, Blakelock,” The New Yorker (May 3, 1947): 70.
6 Harriet Moore, “An Appreciation,” in Moulton & Ricketts Galleries, Catalogue of the Loan Exhibition of Important Works by George Inness, Alexander Wyant, Ralph Blakelock (Chicago: Moulton & Ricketts Galleries, 1913), quoted in Vincent, p. 10.
7 Macbeth Gallery, Art Notes, no. 13 (April 1900): 199.