Click on photos to enlarge.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Robert Brackman

Life About Me, Robert Brackman--a painted biography.
Robert Brackman Self-portrait
Perhaps the most distressing thing about being a portrait painter is that the artist is known primarily based upon the identities of those he or she paints. The only way around this is to paint a significant number of non-portraits. However, if the artist is quite good at portraiture, there evolves such demand that there is little time for anything else. Traditional portraits, especially in the past, demand hours upon hours of time spent by artist and subject in attaining the kind of results making the artist a major name in portraiture. This was exactly the case with the Russian-born Robert Brackman.
Charles Lindbergh, 1938, Robert Brackman
Brackman was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1898. At the age of ten, he emigrated with his parents to the United States where he eventually studied art at the National Academy of Design in New York and the Ferrer School in San Francisco. In 1931, he began teaching at the Art Students League in New York, a position he held virtually for the rest of his life. Among his portrait subjects were John D. Rockefeller Jr., his wife Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller, Charles Lindbergh (left), John Foster Dulles, and numerous other well-known personages commissioned by various departments of the U.S. Government from the 1950s until his death in 1980. Brackman became so popular as a portrait artist he was forced to pick and choose among those wishing to sit for him, limiting himself to about four portraits a year. It's an enviable position to be in unless you're in it.

Portrait of Jennie, (Jennifer Jones),
1948, Robert Brackman,
Perhaps Brackman's most well-known portrait was not of a famous statesman, explorer, or wealthy financier. In 1948, Brackman was called upon to paint a portrait of Jennifer Jones. The painting was to be used as a movie prop for David O. Selznick's Portrait of Jennie in which the movie actress played opposite Joseph Cotton in a fantasy melodrama reminiscent of The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The painting was one of Selznick's prize possessions until he could have the real thing. He married Jennifer in 1949. 

Somewhere in America,
1934, Robert Brackman, a
touching portrait of the



No comments:

Post a Comment