Harlem born artist, teacher, and master printmaker, Robert Blackburn is best known for his pioneering contributions to the development of abstract color lithography. In New York in 1948 he established a cooperative press, the Printmaking Workshop. In the mid-1950s, he traveled and studied in Europe.
He collaborated with such artists as Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg from 1959 to 1963 as the first master printer for Universal Limited Art Editions in West Islip, New York, where he often taught these artists the medium. He then returned exclusively to the Printmaking Workshop.
Among his numerous honors are a MacArthur fellowship (1992) and lifetime achievement awards from Skowhegan (1987) and the College Art Association (2000).
Blackburn died at the age of 82 on April 21, 2003 in New York