Greatest American Painters

Robert Brackman (1898 – 1980)

Posted by A. S. Amberson on October 18, 2009

Life About MeLife About Me

A Plant For ElizabethA Plant For Elizabeth

Flowers For JenniferFlowers For Jennifer

Persephone And FlowersPersephone And Flowers

Early ChoresEarly Chores

Life & Still LifeLife & Still Life

Charles LindberghCharles Lindbergh

Anne Morrow LindberghAnne Morrow Lindbergh

Abby RockefellerAbby Rockefeller

Portrait Of Jennie (Jennifer Jones)Portrait Of Jennie (Jennifer Jones)

Jennifer JonesJennifer Jones

Girl From The VillageGirl From The Village

Somewhere In AmericaSomewhere In America

End Of DayEnd Of Day

Three WomenThree Women

Nude With BasketNude With Basket

Morning Chores

32 Responses to “Robert Brackman (1898 – 1980)”

  1. Dan Truth said

    I was Brackman’s last student. He gave me encouragement and serious knowledge. On his deathbed he also sold me his last still life for $300. Hope springs eternal.

    This site is overdeue. The man’s work is prolific and authentic.

  2. Dan Truth said

    This is not a website. It is a blog. But if it qualifies I would be a delighted to see it included in your list of Artists sites. Thank you for considering it. Sincerely, Dan Truth

  3. Dan Truth said

    I was with Robert Brackman the day in July 1980 that he walked out of his Noank studio for the last time. I stood in the doorway looking into his studio as he prepared to exit. He took small steps toward the door and stood squarely facing me at arms length. He tipped his black Greek skipper’s cap back a smidge on his head, looked me squarely in the eyes and said “I leave a lot behind me.” I did not know what to say and said nothing. Knowing his penchant for the theatrical and dramatic which he used in his classroom teaching I thought for a moment he might be pushing it a bit in an unlucky direction. But as he passed me I touched his shoulder and watched him go to the driveway where the car was waiting that took him to the New London hospital. As it turned out he needed an immediate colonic operation for cancer and had to stay in the hospital. He made it through the operation but alas his old heart did not stand the stress of it all. Considering the man had a cigarette dangling from his lips for most of his waking life it might not come as too surprising. He did indeed die there never seeing his studio again.

  4. Patty Zulkowski said

    I recently acquired a magnificant oil painting of Lillian G. McEvoy signed Robert Brackman. I believe it was done in the 1930’s because of the way the woman is dressed. I wonder where her relatives are so I can try and reunite them with her.

  5. Amanda said

    I am very interested in trying to locate the painting Mr. Brackman painted of Jennifer Jones for her role in “Portrait of Jennie.” My mother loved that movie and that particular painting. She past away recently and I would love to know the location of the painting so I could go and see it in person. It was the only piece of art my mom said she would like to own.

  6. Michael Zeoli said

    Several years ago, I found a 20×24 oil portrait of Douglas Tracy Smith by Robert Brackman. The English Department at Yale University has an endowed Chair in the name of Douglas Tracy Smith and the Wadsworth Athenaeum also has an endowment from Douglas Tracy Smith. I offered the portrait to both Yale and the Athenaeum gratis and neither wanted the painting. Quite disappointing.

    The painting is signed in the upper left corner, and signed again on the back of the linen canvas along with the name of the subject, and is in its original frame.

    The painting requires some restoration work. If anyone can help me find a home for this work, I’d apreciate it.

    • Hi, I am not a collector, but I am an artist and happened to acquire one of his paintings years ago at a flea market, and have loved it ever since. How much do you want for the portrait?

      • Michael Zeoli said

        I’m sorry to see your response to my post regarding the David Tracy portrait by Brackman only now – 6 months later! If you are still interested, write me at I was disheartened that Yale, David Tracy’s alma mater, was not interested, nor was their English Dept. which has an endowed chair in his name. I offered them the painting free just to ensure its care. Ditto from the Hartfort Athenaeum which has an endowment from Tracy. For now, I’m its custodian. Brackman touched my life when I was a very young man. This is a small way of paying it back.
        Michael Zeoli

      • Celia Brackman Gallup said

        Dear Michael,
        The art world is a finicky, what happens to be popular at the moment place. My father always stated, an artist might have to wait a hundred years before being recognized. It is amazing that Yale did not want it, because he did a portrait of a President of Yale in the mid 1940s. Celia Brackman Gallup

    • Dee said

      It brings to mind when Gustave Caillebotte died & he donated his extensive collection of Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Sisley paintings (68 of them) to the French gov’t. with the stipulation they be exhibited at the Luxumbourg Palace and then at The Louvre. The gov’t. refused. Eventually, 38 paintings went to the Luxembourg. Renoir, who was the executor of Caillebotte’s estate tried twice again to offer the paintings to the gov’t, in 1904 and 1908, with no success. (silly gov’t!) The French gov’t. had a change of heart in 1928 (when they began to realize the value of the works, no doubt) but were rebuffed by the widow of Caillebotte’s brother. The remaining paintings were purchased by Albert Barnes and now reside in Philadelphia at the Barnes Foundation.
      Someday Yale may regret not taking you up on your very generous offer.

  7. angela muggeo said

    I have two signed lithograohs of nudes and also a book”Brackman” “His Art And Teaching” Kenneth Bates ….Both lithographs and book signed.

    I am looking for to sell these items and would like to know if there is a art gallery that would appreciate buying the said items……If more information is needed please follow up with comments via e-mail….Thank you..

  8. Celia Brackman Gallup (daughter) said

    I question two paintings here on display. One, “Somewhere in America” and two, “End of the Day”. Many times he would help students structure their paintings and now are trying to pass them off as Brackmans. He would even sign them, which totally amazes me. However, if you look at the backgrounds, they are very different.

  9. Tom Young said

    Question for Celia Brackman Gallup.
    I have a serigraph? of the same three ladies shown in the painting “Three Women” on this site. It is 32″ square image on larger paper, signed in print and signed in pencil under the image Robert Brackman and numbered 64/100. Quite sure same 3 ladies but frontal figure is completely nude cropped just below buttox and she has the scarf on and holding a pitcher. The background ladies of the trio, one has a towel stretched suspended over her head, and the right figure is frontal with skirt and has short bangs and hair up in bun partially visible. I love the image and would be enchanted if I could learn the name of the image (if there is one), approx when it was created, and anything else you might know about it. It is not for sale but would be interested in its approximate value since I am 70 and I know my wife will need to sell items when I take the grand comet ride across the universe. So to know its value today would be very helpful.

    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Dear Mr Young, In reply to your question on the value of the graph, I would guess it to be around 2-300 dollars. Not seeing it, I can’t be sure. My father never recorded what he did or where they ended up, therefore, it is very difficult to know how to judge the drawing. I do know he did have some printed as you have one of the prints. I hope this helps you somewhat. Celia Brackman Gallup

      • Sally Pemberton said

        My grandfather, Murdock Pemberton, was the first art critic at the New Yorker magazine (1925-32). He wrote about Brackman’s painting “Life and Still Life” in his column on May 30, 1925 — page 18 (Subscribers can read online in New Yorker archives). It was in a show at the Milch Galleries. My grandfather was quite pleased in that he had pointed out the painting in his April 18, 1925 column — page 17 as one of the only things worthwhile in a National Academy show.

  10. Paul Kopanycia said

    did Brackman ever work with anyone called A. Lichtenstein?

    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Not that I know of. Perhaps he did, but I have never heard the name mentioned. Celia

  11. Danielle Rosato said

    I recently acquired the following painting from an estate sale outside of Philadelphia. Do you have any information on this piece?

    Thank you.


    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Dear Ms Rosato, I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the painting you purchased is not a Brackman. It could have been a student of his, but nothing about the painting represents his work. Even the signature is wrong. I have run into several fakes even from Museums so don’t feel too badly. As long as you like it and it works for you, enjoy it. Celia Brackman Gallup

      • Danielle Rosato said


        Thank you so much for your swift response. I am disappointed it’s not a Brackman, but I purchased it because I liked it. So not such bad news. Thank you again.


  12. Hernan Marrero said


    I am in the process of buying a Brackman lithograph,
    the name is “Three figures” it looks like it is a sepia study for a painting,
    is pencil signed and it says artist proof on it
    I am been ask to pay $800, but I am not sure if it is real or the price is right.

    Thanks for your help

    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Dear Mr. Marrero, Without me seeing a photo of this, it is very hard for me to tell if it is an original. I know he had done many three figure studies, where some were put into a print and each print was signed. However, I would ask for an appraisal from an independent person unless you could send a photo.

  13. tessla said

    Ms. Gallup. Did your father paint a picture titled “an afternoon in September””? I recently inherited this painting. I love it. It is very unusual in that it combines a landscape with what appears to be telephone poles walking in the foreground.

    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Dear Tessla, Without seeing a photo of the picture, it is very hard for me to know if it was a Brackman. I do know that within my lifetime he never painted landscapes. So if that was one of his, it might be an extremely early work. You might want to get an appraisal for authenticity otherwise just enjoy it. Celia B. Gallup

  14. Dear Brackman followers,

    I’m an American living in Italy, painting, selling, doing workshops ( My teacher was Bill Schultz, who studied with Brackman and knew him well. I heard endless wonderful stories about Mr. Brackman. I would be interested in knowing more about his method (which Schultz taught), its roots, etc. (I have the book Brackman) from any of you.

    Schultz painted in the same method but was looser or perhaps I should say, he didn’t go as far as Brackman, prefering, instead, to stop when much of the underpainting and canvas could show through. Therefore, I would question Cecilia’s evaluation of Ms. Rosato’s head study. She is correct in terms of the signature (I have a pastel of Brackman’s); it does look odd. But the subtle color, open brushstrokes, the construction of the face (with a clear understanding of the planes of the face), the confidence – all suggest to me that this painting was done by a master and quite consistent with Brackman’s early stages. But then again, I’m only looking at a computer. But the painting, to me, and I have practiced his method for decades, is very convincing.

    Finally, what was Brackman’s name when he arrived in NYC? I read it one time but can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    Jerry Fresia

    ps Dear Celia,

    Don’t you think that the Rosato piece is quite like End of Day, posted here? I love seeing this side of Brackman where he doesn’t carry the painting stage so far as to leave it very broken and alive.

    Would it possible that someone acquired this painting somehow – after Brackman’s death – and merely wrote the name “Brackman” on the painting to add provenance?

    • Celia Brackman Gallup said

      Dear Jerry,
      Without seeing the painting there is no way I can tell if it was a Brackman or not. I can say he was not loose in his painting or composition. There were many students during his teaching years that have tried to pass them off as Brackmans even going so far as to putting his name on the canvas. His work is very distinct and I usually can spot a fake. “End of the Day” is not a finished canvas, not his type of composition nor background. I suspect he may have added a little something to a student’s work to show the student how it is done, but if you look at his other work, it doesn’t even come close.

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