Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

April 26, 2003

Robert Blackburn,

82, an artist and founder of the Printmaking Workshop who developed a reputation as a foremost American art lithographer, died Monday. He was 82.

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Mr. Blackburn was a product of Harlem's Great Depression generation. Through the federal Works Progress Administration, he was introduced to printmaking in 1938 at the Harlem Community Art Center.

Among his colleagues and teachers were such renowned artists as Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.

In 1948, he started building in his Chelsea studio what would later become the Printmaking Workshop, an informal cooperative where he and his friends experimented with lithographic techniques.

The Workshop always held a communal flavor. For a small fee, anyone could use its presses, inks and papers. There, fledgling printmakers could learn basic techniques, while experienced artists could work on complicated projects.

Later, Mr. Blackburn became the first master printer at Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island.

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