Jeanette A. Blair

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Jeanette Ann Blair (née Kenney, American, 1922-2016) was a watercolorist who devoted herself to painting fresh unspoiled landscapes. Intimate not just with her medium but with her subject, it is evident that she appreciated and understood the nature that surrounded her. Many of her landscapes were painted on site in the environs near her home in Holland, NY. With a broad treatment and ample strokes Blair’s work presents a balance between painterly spontaneity and impressionistic detail.

As a student and later a teacher at the Art Institute of Buffalo, Jeanette Blair had been actively involved in the Western New York artistic community since the early 1940’s. She and her husband, artist Robert Noel Blair (American, 1912-2003) married in 1943 and they were supportive and exhibiting members of the Associated Artist Organization, Watercolor League of WNY, Patteran Society of Buffalo and the Buffalo Society of Artists. Exhibitions including Jeanette Blair’s work at local and national venues have been highlighted with many awards; the Annual Western New York Exhibitions, Buffalo, NY, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, and the Cooperstown Art Association., Cooperstown, NY.

Chronology:

1922- September 21, born, Buffalo, NY.

1940-1943- Studied at the Art Institute of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

1943- August, Jeanette (née Kenney) married fellow artist Robert Noel Blair (American, 1912-2003) before he headed overseas to serve in WWII for the U.S. Army. Robert had just painted a religious mural in the 3rd Regiment Chapel at Fort McClellan, AL, and in front of the finished mural she married Robert who was a painter from the Art Institute of Buffalo and they raised three children; Jeanne E. (1945-1965), David F. (1948-) and Bruce A. (1951-).

1954- Exhibited, group national show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.

1956- Exhibited, group national show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.

1968- Exhibited, solo show, Lakeview Gallery, Lakeview, NY.

1969- Exhibited, solo show, Central Park Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY.

1970- Exhibited, group national show, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Central Park Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Louisiana Watercolor Society.

1971- Exhibited, group national show, Louisiana Watercolor Society.

1972- Exhibited, group national show, Louisiana Watercolor Society.

1973- Exhibited, two person show, “Husband and Wife Show”, Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY.

1975- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Arena 75 and Arena 77, Binghamton, NY.

1976- Exhibited, group national show, Ogunquit Art Center, Ogunquit, ME. Exhibited, group national show, Aquaous Open, Pittsburg, PA.

1977- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY. Exhibited, group national show, Arena 75 and Arena 77, Binghamton, NY. Exhibited, group show, Regional Women’s Exhibit, Buffalo, NY.

1978- Exhibited, solo show, More-Rubin Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1980- Exhibited, group national show, Women in the Arts, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, NYC.

1982- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY.

1983- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY.

1984- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY. Exhibited, solo show, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1985- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY.

1987- Exhibited, group national show, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY.

1988- Exhibited, group national show, Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY.

1989- Exhibited, solo show, Kenan Center, Lockport, NY. Exhibited, two person show, Chatterbox Club, Rochester, NY.

1999- Exhibited, group show, "Women’s History through Art", Kenan Center, Lockport, NY.

2000-2001- Dec.-Feb., exhibited group show, "Robert N. Blair and the Watercolor Tradition in Western New York", Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

2006- Exhibited, group show, "An Alternative Course: The Art Institute of Buffalo (1931-1956)", Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

2007- Exhibited, solo exhibition, "A Life in the Arts", Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

2012- Exhibited, group show, "The Artsist Among Us II", Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

2013- May, exhibited, three person family show, "The Blairs: Jeanette, Robert, and Bruce", with six of Jeanette’s landscapes included, ranging from "Backyard Ferns" and "Dandelions Along Olean Road" that conveyed the warmth of the season, to the narrative Americana in "The White Fence", "Arcade" and the lyrical, monochromatic "Ravine in Winter", held on two floors at the Buffalo Club, Buffalo, NY.

2015- Exhibited, group show, "Patteran: A Living Force & A Moving Power", for the painting "Plowed Field", Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, solo show, Benjaman Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2016- January 6, died, East Aurora, NY. Sunday, March 13, there was "A Celebration of Life" Memorial Service held for Jeanette at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, with the service welcome by Rev. Michelle Buhite, Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, as well as Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" performed by pianist Ivan Docenko, Eulogies by sons David and Bruce Blair and poems by their late daughter Jeanne E. Blair (1945-1965) from Jeanette's memorial book titled Jeanne's World (1966), and several beautiful tributes by artists, friends & students, with a reception that followed at the Benjaman Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2019- April 27-June 1, exhibition, "Western New York Artists from the Collection of Bruce Allen Blair", fifty-four paintings showing, Springville Center for the Arts", Springville, NY.

Exhibited also at: Western New York Exhibits, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Patteran Artists Shows, Buffalo, NY; and AAO Gallery Shows, Buffalo, NY.

Prizes & Awards: Prizes, Western New York Exhibits, Buffalo, NY, 1947 & 1950; Prize, Butler Institute of American Art, National Show, Youngstown, OH, 1954; Prizes, Buffalo Society of Artists Shows, Buffalo, NY, 1968, 1979, 1983 & 1992; Prize, Wind River Valley, National Show, WY, 1970; Prize, White Mountain Art Fest, National Show, AZ, 1970; Prize, Arena 75, National Show, Binghamton, NY, 1975; Prizes, Cooperstown Art Association, National Show, Cooperstown, NY, 1977 & 1985; Prize, Aqua Media, AAO Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 1983; and Prize, Art at the Site, Buffalo, NY, 1989.

Memberships & Associations: Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY; Patteran Society, Buffalo, NY; Associated Artist Organization of Western New York, Buffalo, NY; Watercolor League of Western New York, Buffalo, NY; Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY; and the Louisiana Watercolor Society.

Collections: Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Charles Rand Penney Collection, Buffalo, NY; Florida Oil Company, Winter Park, FL; Graphic Controls Corporation, Buffalo, NY; and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY.

Publications: Who was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, by Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), 1999.

For additional information on this artist or for other examples of her works, please visit the AskArt link

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, [updated 05/2013] from sources: Our internal records; biographical information & portrait photo from the family of the artist; burchfieldpenney.org, "Jeanette A. Blair (September 21, 1922-January 6, 2016)", by Nancy Weekly, Head of Collections and the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator, Thursday, January 7, 2016.)

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