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Edwin Blashfield

Edwin Blashfield

American artist
Edwin Blashfield
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American artist
A.K.A. Edwin Howland Blashfield, Edwin Holland Blashfield, E. H. Blashfield
Was Painter
From United States of America
Type Arts
Gender male
Birth 5 December 1848, New York City
Death 12 October 1936 (aged 87 years)
The details


Edwin Howland Blashfield (December 5, 1848 – October 12, 1936) was an American painter and muralist.


Blashfield studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts after initial coursework in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved to Europe in 1867 to study with Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat in Paris and remained abroad until 1881, traveling, painting, and exhibiting his work in salon shows. His academic background in painting and extensive travels in Italy to study fresco painting melded in work marked by delicacy and beauty of coloring. Following his early success as a genre painter, Blashfield became a widely admired muralist whose work ornamented the dome of the Manufacturers' and Liberal Arts building at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, several state capitols, and the central dome of the Library of Congress. He was a member of numerous arts organizations, including the National Academy of Design, the National Society of Mural Painters in which he served as President from 1909 to 1914. American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Blashfield served, from 1920–26, as President of the National Academy of Design. Among his many honors, Blashfield was awarded a Gold Medal by the National Academy of Design in 1934, an honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects, and an honorary doctorate of fine arts by New York University in 1926. He served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1912–16. His circle of friends included sculptor Daniel Chester French, painters John Singer Sargent and Maxfield Parrish, and architect Cass Gilbert. His style was influenced by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Jean-Paul Laurens, and Paul Baudry. With his wife he wrote Italian Cities (1900) and translated Vasari's Lives of the Painters (4 vols., 1897), and was well known as a lecturer and writer on art. He became president of the Society of Mural Painters, and of the Society of American Artists.

Blashfield died in 1936 and is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.

Selected commissions

  • in Atlanta, Georgia
    • a mural of the Good Shepherd St. Luke's Episcopal Church
  • in Chicago
    • a dome in the manufacturer's building at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition
    • the Elks National Veterans Memorial
  • in Washington D.C.
    • the dome of the Main Reading Room of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress
    • the mosaic of Saint Matthew in St. Matthew's Cathedral
  • the Iowa State Capitol at Des Moines, Iowa
  • the Minnesota State Capitol at St. Paul, Minnesota
  • the Governor's office in Pierre, South Dakota
  • the Wisconsin State Capitol at Madison, Wisconsin
  • the federal courthouse in Baltimore
  • the Mahoning County Court House, Youngstown, Ohio
  • the Detroit Public Library
  • in New York City
    • Appellate courthouse
    • the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
    • the Lawyers' Club
    • the Great Hall of City College of New York, "The Graduate" mural,
    • the residences of WK Vanderbilt and Collis P. Huntington
    • the National Academy of Design, "Saint Michael".
  • in Philadelphia
    • the residence of George W. Drexel (son of Anthony J. Drexel)
    • the chancel dome of the Cathedral Church of the Savior
  • the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Many paintings by the artist are present, including "North Wall Alma Mater", "South Wall Right Panel Humanity", "North Wall Left Panel Angels in Trees", et al., all painted 1923-1930.
  • in Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania

A mural by him is located in the Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse, Cleveland, Ohio

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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