Blaker, Hugh Oswald (1873-1936) by Scholes, Robert

Hugh Oswald Blaker (1873 – 1936)

He was born at Worthing in Sussex, where his father was a Master Builder. He studied at the Cranleigh School in Kent and at the Académie Julian in Paris and the Antwerp School of Art. In the latter part of his life he lived on Church Street at Isleworth-on-Thames in Middlesex. The information above and the summary below are from an article on Blaker by Robert Meyrick, in the Journal of the History of Collections, November 2004, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 173-189(17). We are grateful to the author for permission to use this information:

“Nowadays Hugh Blaker is remembered only as adviser to Gwendoline and Margaret Davies of Gregynog; it was his taste that influenced the sisters in the formation of their renowned collections of nineteenth-century French art, which they bequeathed to the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff. The role of consultant has, however, overshadowed his many other activities; he was also a painter, writer, art critic, museum curator, collector, dealer in Old Masters and, against overwhelming public opinion, an indefatigable advocate of avant-garde tendencies in art. Blaker, passionate and opinionated, ridiculed official conservatism and was an ardent supporter and promoter of young artists: ‘I am trying to do something for the moderns’, he protested, ‘but they won’t let me!’ This article examines his significant, and as yet largely unrecognized, contribution to the course of art history in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century.”

We would like to find images of this artist’s work.

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