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Obituaries in the News

April 26, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Robert Blackburn, an artist and founder of the Printmaking Workshop who developed a reputation as a foremost American art lithographer, died Monday. He was 82.

At the Printmaking Workshop, anyone could use its presses, inks and papers for a small fee. Fledgling printmakers could learn basic techniques, while experienced artists could work on complicated projects.

In 1948, Blackburn started building what would later become the workshop in his Chelsea studio. He organized it as an informal cooperative where he and his friends could experiment with lithographic techniques.

Later, he became the first master printer at Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island. While there, he printed for a new generation of artists who were coming to printmaking for the first time.

Blackburn also taught at various schools, including Brooklyn College and Columbia University, where he served on the faculty from 1970 to 1990.

In 2001, Blackburn asked the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts to provide a home for the workshop. It is now located at the foundation’s quarters in Manhattan.

Blackburn was a product of Harlem’s Great Depression generation. Through the federal Works Progress Administration, he was introduced to printmaking in 1938 at the Harlem Community Art Center.

Among his colleagues and teachers were renowned artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Augusta Savage.

Halina Grabowski

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) _ Halina Grabowski, a Polish soldier in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against German occupiers, died Wednesday in Cleveland. She was 75.

As a 16-year-old, Grabowski was wounded and became a prisoner of war during the 61-day rebellion. She was later awarded Poland’s A.K. Cross and four other medals for her exploits in the Armia Krajowa, or Home Army.

She and her husband moved to Cleveland in 1952, and she was reunited with three sisters the next year. She worked for Society National Bank in the payroll department for 20 years.

She was an officer of the Polish American Congress and a member of Polish Veterans Combatants and the SPK Polish service organization.

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