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The art of Edmund Blampied in museums and galleries

Edmund Blampied was first and foremost an artist. He received no lessons in art while at primary school and it wasn't until some of his drawings were seen by the owner of a local private art school in St. Helier in Jersey when he was 14 that he was given some lessons and introduced to watercolours. In 1903 at the age of 17 years, Blampied left Jersey for the first time to study at the Lambeth School of Art in London for a year, sponsored by a local businessman and supported by his family. He then won a London County Council Scholarship which paid his fees for two years; he found a job in the Art Department of The Daily Chronicle a major national daily newspaper; and began his love-hate relationship with London. He remained there, except for 3 years during World War 1, until 1938. You can read more about his life in my biography Edmund Blampied, an Illustrated Life (Jersey Heritage Trust, 2010).

I have found examples of the work of Edmund Blampied listed in the collections of 118 museums or art galleries: 80 in the USA, 26 in the UK, 6 in Australia, 2 in the Netherlands and 1 each in Canada, New Zealand, Israel and Jersey. If you know of others, please let me know. Some of these collections are extensive. Most items are prints, but some galleries have an oil painting, a watercolour or drawings. I have provided links to the major collections, direct to the works by Blampied if possible, usually through a collection search engine, and I have given links to specific examples that are worth seeing. The links open a new browser window. I have tested the links, but if they don't work, let me know.

Image of watercolour

That man with a fish (1929), sold to Lord Forteviot.

Jersey Heritage Trust has about 900 items related to Blampied including etchings, drypoints, lithographs, pencil drawings, sketches, watercolours, printed illustrations, stamps, printing blocks, and bank notes. Not all items are illustrated, the images are small, and the indexing of items is inconsistent. For example if I enter the search term 'Edmund Blampied' here for 'Museum and Art' I get 26 results; if I enter 'Blampied, Edmund' I get 906 results. The option to 'Search within results' doesn't work. To find what you want it is necessary to go through each of the 46 pages. Some of the highlights of the collection are:

The Boston Public Library (BPL) has the largest collection of the art of Edmund Blampied outside Jersey - 395 prints, drawings, silhouettes, watercolours and cards. Most of the drawings were given to the Library in 1941 by Albert H. Wiggin (1868-1951), a banker who made a great deal of money in 1929 short-selling his shares in his own bank before the Wall Street Crash while recommending that people buy them. He visited Blampied's studio in London in August 1933 and bought five sketch books of drawings of Tunisia, Sables d'Ollone, Holland and from imagination. Many of the drawings from imagination were preliminary sketches for prints or were drawings with the same composition as a print. Mr. Wiggin also bought seven of the eight original illustrations by Blampied for Travels with a Donkey by R.L. Stevenson. The purchase by Mr Wiggin was, I think, Blampied's biggest single sale ever, in a period when the market for prints had collapsed so Blampied's income had diminished. Blampied was unaware of Mr. Wiggin's past. These drawings were added to several early and rare prints by Blampied, which had been bought for the Library by Arthur Heintzelman (1891-1965), an American etcher and the first Curator of Prints at the BPL. They can now all be seen on the Digital Commonwealth web site which is truly excellent because the pictures can be enlarged and studied in detail.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has 116 items by Blampied: 98 etchings or drypoints, 10 lithographs and 10 drawings. The museum held a large exhibition of Blampied's work in 1941 and issued to the Print Club of Cleveland Blampied's last print before the Second World War, an etching called A Jersey vraic cart, in an edition of 250 proofs plus 10 for the artist. The Museum also holds:

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has 107 prints by Blampied, many of which were given by William S. Pilling in 1933 as a part of a collection of 2,500, mostly British, prints. Several prints are present in duplicate, including:

Lehigh University Art Gallery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has a collection of 69 prints by Blampied and four watercolours, here. Lehigh University is a private research university established in 1865. It is 65 miles north of Philadelphia. Their collection includes:

The British Museum has 74 prints by Blampied, but no images are available. Many of the prints were given by Campbell Dodgson, who was Curator of Prints at the Museum and published the first catalogue raisonné of Blampied's prints in 1926. Some prints were given by Ian Strang, who was Blampied's printer, including a proof of The Knacker. The Museum has proofs of Tarascon and Washerwomen at Annecy, which are rare. The contrast between the British Museum and all the American collections listed here, where images of their collection can be viewed, is notable.

The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco was one of the first American museums to make their collections visible online. They used to be available at high resolution, but no longer, sadly. They have 57 prints in their collection and a watercolour.

The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts has 54 works by Blampied including a proof of Driving home in the rain. Some items were given by Harold Baily's wife, including a watercolour portrait of Baily which Blampied did from photographs. Harold James Baily (1887-1964) was an alumnus of the college and had a very large collection of Blampied's work, most of which was sold by his wife before she moved into a home in the early 1980s. The Baily's visited Blampied in London in August 1937 and in Jersey after the War, in 1957. The Mead Art Museum has a few notable items:

The University of Saint Joseph Art Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut has 39 items by Blampied, including 36 prints. The prints include a proof of Driving home in the rain and The Bullock Cart. Most of the items were bequeathed by a Catholic priest named John J. Kelly. The collection includes:

Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York has 35 prints by Blampied, including a proof of Driving home in the rain, all of which have been scanned and can be enlarged.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, has 30 works by Blampied including a proof of Driving home in the rain.

Cincinatti Art Museum has 28 works by Blampied, including:

Williams College Museum of Art has 26 works by Blampied including a pen and ink drawing of Three men dated 1921, perhaps from his first show in the USA.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine has 20 prints by Blampied.

The Detroit Institute of Art has 22 prints by Blampied and a drawing. The notable items in the collection are:

The Museum of New Zealand in Wellington has 18 prints by Blampied including a proof of Driving home in the rain.

Princeton Art Museum in New Jersey has 16 prints and two watercolours by Blampied.

The Art Institute of Chicago has a drypoint called The Carousal and the watercolour drawing of a design for the The Carousal.

The Courtauld Institute of Art has a single drawing by Blampied called Loading the cart which was shown at Blampied's first exhibition of drawings in London, held at the Leicester Galleries in 1923.

The following is a list of all the other museums and galleries that hold the work of Edmund Blampied with the number of items in parentheses. The numbers may be wrong as not everything has been seen and many items are not illustrated.





United Kingdom