Friday, February 24, 2012

The Last Draughtsman: Robert A. Nelson

Robert Nelson, Professor Emeritus, Millersville University, is a highly respected contemporary painter, sculptor printmaker and collage artist. Nelson studied art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1950 and a master's degree in 1951. He taught at his alma mater as well as the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and the University of North Dakota before returning to school at New York University, where he received his Education Doctorate in 1971. The next year he began teaching at Cleveland State University, where he stayed until 1975, when he joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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I had the good fortune to meet and interact with Nelson in a printmaking workshop during my undergraduate days at the University of Nebraska. Nelson is the consummate draughtsman and is quickly becoming a vanishing breed. While he handles multiple mediums effortlessly, perhaps his greatest asset is his drawing skill. I discovered this profile video and am happy and surprised to see that Robert still has the gift and is working away at age 89.

I hope I'm as lucid and creative as Robert in my sunset years.


  1. I knew Robert Nelson when he lived in North Dakota and chaired the art department at UND--though I'm sure he wouldn't remember me. Fortunately I was able to acquire a few of his drawings, paintings and lithographs from exhibits at local galleries. I treasure them.

    BTW, his son Mark A. Nelson is comparably talented.

  2. Any one wishing to contact Robert is welcome to contact us at Robert is currently living in lakeside or. And actively drawing every day ! You may see recent works at cityfolk gallery ,prince St. Lancaster pa.

  3. Oh PS. Bob was born in 1925 , so as he is getting up there , he's not 89 yet ! Havana !