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Harriet Blackstone papers, 1870-1984

Biographical Note

Harriet Blackstone (1864-1939) was a painter in New York, New York. Blackstone was born on November 13th, 1864 in New Hartford, New York. In 1883, she moved to Illinois where she became a high school elocution teacher. She did not start her studies to be an artist until 1903 when she enrolled at the Pratt Institute of Art in Brooklyn, New York. While there her art teacher was William Merritt Chase. Later, Blackstone went to the Academie Julian in Paris, France to gain more experience with Jean Paul Laurens as her instructor. Blackstone started to gain attention as a renowned artist in 1907 when her painting, Soldat de Crimée, was exhibited in The Salon, Paris. She moved back to Glencoe, Illinois and focused more on her artwork by painting commissions and joining different art organizations, such as the Chicago Society of Artists and the Arts Club. Blackstone travelled to different locations, including Taos, New Mexico and Bruges, Belgium, to help inspire her creativity. In 1920, Blackstone moved back to New York City where she would spend the remainder of her life; she never married or had children. She died on March 16, 1939 and was survived by her brother and friends. During her art career, Blackstone often painted portraits of well-known people and over time she developed her own style of work. Her artwork was displayed in several prominent cities in the United States: Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City. Some of Blackstone's artwork became part of permanent collections, such as Soldat de Crimée, which was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in 1921, now known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum.