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By the age of sixty, Streeter Blair had tried half a dozen careers. As with any authentic primitive painter, Blair’s first subject was the farm. His father ran the local Grange store in Cadmus, Kansas, where he was born in 1888.
He grew up on a farm and thought he hated it until he started to paint. He painted youngsters playing leapfrog, Christmas carolers practicing around the family piano, and an ice cream social. As a purveyor of nostalgia, he invited comparison to Grandma Moses. He was unable to conquer perspective or master the technique of shadows. His rivers run up and down hillsides, the passengers in his buckboards were sometimes bigger than the horses. Like Grandma Moses, he never went to art shows, completely ignored art magazines and firmly refused to take formal instruction.
If the public was slow to discover Blair, such young avant-garde artists as Edward Kienholtz and Billy Al Bengston admired him and spent much time in his company. He died in 1966. Source: Time Magazine, March 21, 1969. Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
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