Robert Brackman

born Odessa, Russia 1898-died New London, CT 1980
Media - J0044995_1b.jpg - 89702
Robert Brackman at work in his studio, © Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0044995
Odessa, Russia
New London, Connecticut, United States
Active in
  • New York, New York, United States
  • Noank, Connecticut, United States
  • American

Figure and portrait painter. He held portrait commissions from the du Ponts, Helen Morgan and the Lindberghs. His work characteristically combined still lifes with portraiture.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Luce Artist Biography

Robert Brackman came from Russia to the United States with his family when he was eleven 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)

Related Books

1934: A New Deal for Artists
During the Great Depression, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a “new deal for the American people,” initiating government programs to foster economic recovery. Roosevelt’s pledge to help “the forgotten man” also embraced America’s artists. The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) enlisted artists to capture “the American Scene” in works of art that would embellish public buildings across the country. Although it lasted less than one year, from December 1933 to June 1934, the PWAP provided employment for thousands of artists, giving them an important role in the country’s recovery. Their legacy, captured in more than fifteen thousand artworks, helped “the American Scene” become America seen.