Blaine, Nell, 1922-1996

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Nell Blaine was born in Richmond (Va.) July 10, 1922. She attended the Richmond School of Art; studied with the artist Hans Hofmann in New York (N.Y.) from 1942-1944; studied etching and engraving at Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter in 1945; and attended the New School for Social Research from 1952-1953. She maintained a studio in Gloucester (Mass.) but also traveled and painted extensively in Austria, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, St. Lucia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and West Indies.

Blaine married Robert Bass, a musician, in 1943; they divorced in 1949. She contracted polio on Mykonos Island (Greece) in the fall of 1959, spending months in a hospital in New York and in an iron lung, but proving the medical opinion wrong that she would not paint again, laboriously retraining her hands. She used a wheelchair the rest of her life and suffered from post-polio syndrome from which she ultimately died November 14, 1996. She was survived by her companion of 30 years, Carolyn Harris, also a painter.

Blaine's painting began in realism, but at age 21 she was the youngest member of the group American Abstract Artists. She was a founding member of the Jane Street Gallery, an early artists' cooperative, and had her first solo show there in 1945. During a trip to Paris with Larry Rivers in 1950, she immersed herself in 19th-century European painting and from that point developed a vivid and colorful representational style for which she is best known. Her New York circle of artist and writer friends in the 1950's included John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, Leland Bell, Robert De Niro Sr. and Rudy Burckhardt. She exhibited solo at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1953 and was represented by the Poindexter Gallery and the Fischbach Gallery.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Blaine, Nell : Biographical file. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
referencedIn Freilicher, Jane, 1924-2014. Jane Freilicher papers, 1945-1995 (MS Am 2072). Houghton Library
creatorOf Alan Gussow research material for A Sense of Place Archives of American Art
creatorOf Blaine, Nell, 1922-. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Nell Blaine letters to Robert A. Wilson Archives of American Art
referencedIn Gifford, Barry, 1946-. Barry Gifford papers, circa 1970-2005. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Blaine, Nell. [Nell Blaine] : artist file John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library, Ringling Museum Library
creatorOf Blaine, Nell, 1922-. Nell Blaine : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
creatorOf Nell Blaine papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Blaine, Nell, 1922- : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Colette Roberts Artist Interviews, 1964-1969 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Sandler, Irving, 1925-. Irving Harry Sandler papers, circa 1944-2007, bulk 1944-1980. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Larry Rivers papers, 1950-1959. Houghton Library
creatorOf Nell Blaine papers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Blaine, Nell, 1922-1996. Reminiscences of Nell Blaine : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Allen Collection of Frank O'Hara Letters., 1950-1966. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
creatorOf Blaine, Nell, 1922-1996. Nell Blaine collection, 1945-1999. Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU Libraries
referencedIn Vincent Ferrini Papers., n.d., 1949-1977. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Phyllis Birkby Papers MS 283., 1932-1994, 1960-1994 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Kinnell mss, 1936-1980 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Oral history interview with Larry Rivers Archives of American Art
creatorOf Oral history interview with Nell Blaine Archives of American Art
Relation Name
correspondedWith Adrienne person
correspondedWith Aldan, Daisy. person
correspondedWith Allen, Donald, 1912-2004 person
associatedWith American Abstract Artists. corporateBody
associatedWith Ashbery, John, 1927- person
associatedWith Astor, E. person
associatedWith Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973. person
associatedWith Barker, Kit, 1916-1988. person
associatedWith Barry Gifford's person
correspondedWith Bell, Leland. person
associatedWith Ben Weber Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Birkby, Phyllis person
correspondedWith Bly, Carol. person
correspondedWith Bly, Robert person
associatedWith Burckhardt, Rudy, person
associatedWith Carolyn Harris person
correspondedWith Chris. person
correspondedWith Clements, Marshall. person
associatedWith Cooper, Patricia. person
associatedWith Cornell, Joseph. person
associatedWith David Jackson. person
associatedWith Day, Worden, 1916-1986. person
associatedWith De Kooning, Elaine, person
associatedWith De Niro, Robert, 1922-1993, person
associatedWith Denise Levertov. person
correspondedWith Di Prima, Diane. person
correspondedWith Edwin. person
correspondedWith E.P. Dutton (Firm). corporateBody
associatedWith Evans, Dilys. person
correspondedWith Ferrini, Vincent. person
associatedWith Flotow, Olga von. person
associatedWith Frank O'Hara. person
associatedWith Freilicher, Jack. person
associatedWith Freilicher, Jane, 1924- person
correspondedWith Fussiner, Barbara Bank. person
associatedWith Garrigue, Jean, 1912-1972. person
associatedWith Garth, Midi. person
associatedWith Gazzolo, Beatrice. person
associatedWith Gifford, Barry, 1946- person
associatedWith Goff, Eleanor. person
correspondedWith Gold, Arthur person
correspondedWith Gregor, Arthur, 1923- person
associatedWith Griffin, Howard, 1915-1975. person
correspondedWith Guest, Barbara. person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- person
associatedWith Gussow, Alan, 1931- person
correspondedWith Hall, Donald. person
correspondedWith Hallman, Frank. person
correspondedWith Hanson, Pauline. person
associatedWith Harmsworth, Margaret. person
correspondedWith Harris, Carolyn person
correspondedWith Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969 person
correspondedWith Hess, Tom. person
associatedWith Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966. person
correspondedWith Howard Fussiner person
associatedWith Jacob Burckhardt person
associatedWith Jane Street Gallery (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Jason, Harry. person
associatedWith Joe Hazan. person
associatedWith John Lebow person
associatedWith Justina person
associatedWith Kahn, Wolf, 1927- person
correspondedWith Kallman, Chester, 1921-1975 person
correspondedWith Katz, Leslie. person
correspondedWith Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980 person
associatedWith Kinnell, Galway, 1927- person
associatedWith Klonsky, Milton. person
associatedWith Koch, Janice person
associatedWith Koch, Kenneth, 1925-2002 person
correspondedWith Kresch, Al. person
associatedWith Kresch, Albert. person
correspondedWith Krim, Seymour, 1922- person
associatedWith Krishna person
correspondedWith Lansing, Gerrit. person
associatedWith Laughlin, Clarence John. person
correspondedWith LeBow, John person
correspondedWith Levertoff, Beatrice. person
associatedWith Levertov, Denise, 1923- person
associatedWith Lucy Forbes person
correspondedWith Mary. person
associatedWith Maxine Groffsky person
correspondedWith Mayhall, Jane. person
correspondedWith Menashe, Samuel, 1925- person
correspondedWith Merrill, James Ingram. person
associatedWith Merv Slotnick person
correspondedWith Michael. person
associatedWith Midi person
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith O'Gorman, Ned, 1929- person
associatedWith O'Hara, Frank, 1926-1966, person
correspondedWith Pease, Deborah. person
associatedWith Poindexter Gallery corporateBody
correspondedWith Porter, Fairfield. person
correspondedWith P., Sophie?. person
associatedWith Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002. person
correspondedWith Robert Fizdale. person
associatedWith Roberts, Colette, 1910-1971 person
correspondedWith Rorem, Ned, 1923- person
associatedWith Ross, Alvin, 1920-1975. person
associatedWith Rotenberg gallery corporateBody
associatedWith R. R. (Rozanne Ruth) Knudson person
associatedWith Sandler, Irving, 1925- person
correspondedWith Schloss, Edith person
correspondedWith Schneebaum, Tobias. person
associatedWith Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910- person
associatedWith Skillion, Anne, person
associatedWith Smith, Constance. person
associatedWith Smith, Ted person
associatedWith Solomon, Hyde, 1911- person
correspondedWith Swenson, May. person
associatedWith The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Tibor de Nagy corporateBody
associatedWith Tobey, Mark. person
associatedWith Trumbull Higgins. person
associatedWith Virginia Commonwealth University corporateBody
associatedWith Von Wicht, John, 1888-1970. person
associatedWith Watrous, Jane. person
correspondedWith Weber, Ben, 1916-1979 person
correspondedWith W. H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden person
correspondedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975 person
associatedWith Wilson, Robert A. person
associatedWith Wright, Clifford, 1919- person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Young, Gayle. person
associatedWith Young, Stanley person
associatedWith Yvonne Jacquette. person
correspondedWith Zinnes, Harriet. person
correspondedWith Zlotkowski, Edward. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Richmond VA US
Gloucester MA US
Publishers and publishing
Art, American
Art, Abstract
Artists' studios
Art museums
Figure painting
New York school of art
Women artists
Women painters


Birth 1922-07-10

Death 1996-11-14





Ark ID: w6rp41w4

SNAC ID: 87867444