Art & Photography Books:

Beyond Madness

The Art of Ralph Blakelock, 1847-1919



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Beyond Madness by Norman A. Geske
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This book, featuring the life and works of Ralph Blakelock, situates him in the context of American art. Representing over twenty years of study and the examination of several thousand works attributed to him, Beyond Madness reveals the unusual nature of Blakelock's life story as it offers clear parallels to his painting. Largely self-taught and supported by few patrons, Blakelock regularly struggled with the financial pressures of supporting his nine children and pursuing his art. Called both brilliant and doomed, and institutionalized on and off for the last decade of his life, he nonetheless created some of the most beloved-and some of the most frequently forged-paintings in the American canon. As in the author's own time, modern assessments of his work are often colored by notions of Blakelock the man, leading to a paradoxical legacy of suffering and hope, obscurity and prominence. Taking Blakelock's art on its merits, Beyond Madness stands as a testament to the indefatigable spirit of art scholarship as well as a tribute to the artist and his enduring passion for the creative process. It finally casts new light on the life and character of Blakelock and on the nature of the incomparable art he contributed to the American tradition.

Author Biography

Norman A. Geske was involved in the creation of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and served as its director until his retirement in 1983. He was instrumental in creating the Museum of Nebraska Art at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Interstate 80 Bicentennial Sculpture Project.
Release date NZ
November 15th, 2007
Foreword by Peter H. Hassrick
Country of Publication
United States
Annotated bibliography, chronology, 38 color illus., 101 b-w illus., appendix, index
University of Nebraska Press
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