An American in Italy

Richard Blow's life was nothing short of Gatsby-esque. From a wealthy industrial family in the Midwest, Blow led an adventurous life that took him around the world. Blow studied with, met and entertained artists in France and Italy. He had many relationships and several wives—one of which was from New York high society and was later shot and killed by her handsome, wooden-legged lover. He owned a villa in Italy and a dairy farm in upstate New York and was known to spontaneously roll out of bed to fly his own plane between his trans-Atlantic homes. During World II his villa was confiscated by Fascists and he served in the United States Army as a long haul pilot and instructor, becoming a war hero. Later, in 1956 he sustained a serious head injury in a car accident which profoundly impacted his career.

 

Despite the many ups and downs of his vibrant and active life, Richard Blow carved a unique place for himself in the world of craft and decorative art. Author and scholar, Glenn Adamson details the fascinating life of Richard Blow and his artistic production in an essay titled Montici, the most comprehensive text on the artist to date. 

Read Montici by Glenn Adamson

Preparatory drawing and painting by Richard Blow, Collection Lastrucci