Above the fireplace in the dining room at the P&C is a curiously framed mahogany palette, thick with dried old paint. There is a little engraved plaque at the bottom of the frame.
It says:

This palette was used by my husband.
RALPH A. BLAKELOCK.
MRS. R. A. BLAKELOCK

A New Yorker, Blakelock was born in 1847; he died in 1919. Blakelock is buried in Westchester County, New York.

Although an accomplished painter, Blakelock went mad in 1899–he attempted to negotiate million-dollar bills at various banks–and was confined to a mental institution for the next seventeen years. Schizophrenia is thought by some to have been the cause of his mental problems; he and his wife had nine children.
Prior to being committed, Blakelock met with little commercial success. He painted during his years in the asylum, but once he was released in 1916 he painted no more. He died a few years later.

It’s not clear that he was ever a member of the P&C–that will have to be researched–but Blakelock was in Chicago for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and exhibited at the Art Institute. He must have made his connection with the P&C at that time, before his confinement in 1899.

The Salander-O’Reilly Galleries in New York currently have an exhibition of Blakelock’s work.

I like his moonlit landscapes the best.

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