Richard Blauvelt Coe | 1904-1979

Painter and Widely Respected Printmaker

Dixie Art Colony Foundation

Richard Blauvelt Coe was born on February 27, 1904, in Selma, Alabama. Coe lost his mother on July 10, 1910, at the tender age of 6. She was only 27 years old when she passed away. Coe’s father remarried in 1915.

Coe was raised in Selma, where he attended grade school. After grade school, he attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, followed by a one-year stint at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied architecture. In 1925, Coe won a “Birmingham Allied Arts Club / Birmingham News-Age-Herald” scholarship to study at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City.

He then continued his studies with Philip Hale at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, he also studied with two visiting British instructors, Rodney Burne and Robin Guthrie, who helped him win a “Page Traveling Scholarship.” Through this scholarship, Coe was able to travel and study in Europe. He, along with a friend, toured Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Scotland, and England on a bicycle. During this time, Coe also operated a small studio in Florence, Italy.

After Coe’s return to the United States, he studied at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, but soon returned to his home state of Alabama. After settling in Birmingham, Coe was appointed to head the state’s WPA art programs.

For the last 25 years of his life, Coe lived in Goldens Bridge, New York, a small town located north of New York City, near Danbury, Connecticut. After retiring from McCall’s magazine, Coe spent his time painting and teaching art at several schools and his home.

Coe passed away on December 13, 1978, in Goldens Bridge, NY, at the age of 73. He was laid to rest in Live Oak Cemetery in his home town of Selma, Alabama. His obituary lists his only survivors as his wife Anne Hunt Coe and one niece, Margaret Ellen Coe Cairnes.

Sources:, DAC Foundation Archives, Selma Times

Artist's Artworks