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Robert Brackman came from Russia to the US with his family when he was 11 years old. He studied art with Robert Henri and George Bellows in New York, and went on to specialize in portraiture and figure painting. Brackman taught at a number of schools including the Art Students League and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and he lectured widely about art education. He was very conservative in his opinions about art and disdained abstraction, warning his students that “it is for the dilettante and good conversationalist, and not for a student who wishes to become a professional artist.” (Bates, Brackman, His Art and Teaching, 1951)
Best known for large figural works, portraits, and still lifes in realist style with interplay of design elements, Brackman created paintings that show the gamut of technical and imaginative skills. It is not credible to align him with any art movement because he was an artist who simply went his own way, pursuing his own vision.
From 1931, he had a long career teaching at the Art Students League in New York and was a life member of the League. He also taught at the American Art School in NYC, the Brooklyn Museum School, the Lyme Art Academy, and the Madison Art School in Connecticut.
As a portraitist, he painted notables including John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Charles Lindburgh and John Foster Dulles, as well as portraits commissioned by the Air Force Academy and the State Department. He was so successful with his portrait painting that he had to choose among persons wanting to commission him and from 1940, limited his sitters to 3 or 4 a year.
He was born in Odessa, Russia, and came to the US in 1908. He studied at The National Academy of Design from 1919-1921, and the Ferrer School in San Francisco. In New York, he also studied with Robert Henri and George Bellows at the National Academy of Design....