Jean Blackburn has been teaching at RISD since 1982 as a member of the Illustration department. A long-time resident of New York, she moved north in 2001 and currently resides in a firehouse in Rhode Island. Her work, both painting and sculpture, addresses the domestic setting and its power to shape or reflect our understanding of the world. She has exhibited her work throughout the US and abroad, including the DeCordova Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Aldrich Museum and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Most recently she was included in the exhibition Transitional Objects at the Neuberger Museum and at the Ierimoti Gallery in Milan. Her work is in collections of the Mint Museum, the Tang Museum and many private collections. Blackburn has a strong interest in ancient civilizations. She has worked as an archaeological illustrator on excavations in New England, New Mexico and Petra, Jordan.
Academic research/ areas of interest
“As a sculptor, and as a painter, my work examines the dynamic interplay of cultural model and individual experience in the domestic setting. The boundaries of an object’s definition interest me most. I push my objects and my images until they are on the verge of a multitude of other possibilities.”—Artist’s Statement