Lowell Blair Nesbitt Biography

Lowell Blair Nesbitt




Lowell Blair Nesbitt, painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and sculptor, was born in Baltimore, Maryland on 4 October 1933. He studied at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. 

Nesbitt worked in abstraction until Robert Indiana suggested in the early 1960s that he explore realism in his paintings. As subjects for his work he favored studio interiors, articles of clothing, piles of shoes, his Rottweiler, the Neo-Classical facades of 19th century cast iron buildings, and Manhattan's bridges. He was also famous for his enormous paintings and prints of roses, lilies, irises, and other flowers. In 1980, the United States Post Office issued four stamps depicting Nesbitt's large floral paintings. He was also the official artist for NASA's space flights Apollo 9 and Apollo 13.

His first solo exhibition was mounted at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1958 and during his lifetime he had more than 130 solo exhibitions of his work at various galleries, museums, and universities, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Kent State University, the McNay Art Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Burpee Art Museum, and the Tyler Gallery at Temple University.  

His works are represented in many corporate collections and public collections holding his work include but are not limited to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Butler Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Library of Congress, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Worcester Art Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

In 1976, Nesbitt purchased property located at 389 West 12th Street in New York. The building, once a police stable, was completely renovated into a studio and living space, complete with an indoor swimming pool and atrium, and a rooftop entertainment area. After his death, "The Old Stable," as he referred to his house and studio, was purchased by fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg.

Lowell Nesbitt died in Manhattan on 8 July 1993.