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Frank Blackwell Mayer Portrait

Frank Blackwell Mayer

Also Known as: Francis Blackwell Mayer, F. B. Mayer

Baltimore, Maryland 1827

Annapolis, Maryland 1899

Active in:

  • Paris, France

Photo Caption:
Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society.


Born in Maryland. Known for his large collection of life studies of Native Americans and as a painter of colonial subjects.

Nora Panzer, ed. Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (New York and Washington, D.C.: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children in association with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1994)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Frank Blackwell Mayer was born into a life of privilege. His father was a lawyer who represented Baltimore in the Maryland State Senate, and his mother was the daughter of a merchant ship captain. Mayer established the Artists Association of Maryland and remained active in Baltimore’s art community throughout his career. He lived in Paris during the Civil War, returning home to discover that the war had destroyed the city’s art community and sapped his family’s finances. In December 1876 he bought a house in Annapolis and hung a sign above the door bearing the motto: “He lives best who lives well in obscurity.” (Page, “Francis Blackwell Mayer,” The Magazine Antiques, February 1976)