Robert Marshall Root

male 1864-1937
Life city:
Shelbyville, IL
Work city:
Shelbyville, IL
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re: Robert Marshall Root

Robert Marshall Root was born 1864 in Shelbyville Illinois. It is seldom that an artists hometown would play such a lasting role in their career. Although Root was deeply committed to capturing the scenes and portraits of his beloved home in central Illinois, he regularly made the trip to Nashville Indiana where he developed lasting relationships with Paul T. Sargent, Adolph Shulz, Carl Graf, Gustave Baumann and others. Root spent the vast majority of his adult life working in his Shelbyville studio. The fact that Root decided to remain so loyal to his hometown is a testament to the support that he received throughout his career. It is the main reason why he didn't venture away to pursue professional opportunities and also the reason why such a large percentage of his work remains in Shelbyville. Although he possessed enormous amounts of skill and discipline, there remains this theme of isolationism to his legacy. Adolph Shulz put it best when he explained, "Root was isolated from the art world too much, we all know that, but I admired him for living as he did although he would undoubtedly have reached greater heights had he been among his fellows more." Perhaps Root received most recognition for his portraiture work. He made a large portion of his living through commissioned portraits. Many of his sitters were judges in and around the central Illinois region. The versatility of Root's work is shown in his work as a landscape artist. He had an impeccable ability to convey emotion in his work which was an important quality of the Tonalist movement. He worked in many mediums, perhaps his favorite being watercolor, yet he excelled in all. Very few oil landscapes have been located. His approach to landscape painting fits in so well with our beloved Indiana artists. It is no wonder that this incredible artist known little outside of the central Illinois region is also collected here in Indiana. For more information on Robert Marshall Root, please track down a copy of "Robert Marshall Root: Something More than Praise," an extremely detailed and scholarly accompaniment to the Exhibition held in 2006 at the Kirkland Fine Arts center at Millikin University. We are very interested in purchasing paintings by Robert Marshall Root. Please contact us if you have pieces you are considering selling.

Over the Hill to the River Old Sycamore Summer Interior Woods A copyist work (for an Illinois school system) A copyist work (for an Illinois school system)

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