Portrait of Christ In Blue
McKendree Robbins Long (07/20/1888-1976) was born in Statesville, North Carolina. After studying at various institutions in North Carolina, Long moved to New York City, and took classes at the Art Students League, where he won a two-year scholarship to study painting abroad. He was accepted as a student of Lazlo in London and studied briefly in Holland and Spain. Upon his return to the United States, Long taught for a short time in San Francisco. He returned to North Carolina and married Mary Bell Hill on June 24, 1914. He joined the Army and was an ambulance driver during World War I. When he returned from the war, he established a studio in New York and lived in Princeton, New Jersey. He painted portraits early in his career, and exhibited throughout North Carolina. He was especially talented at the technical aspects of portraiture. In 1922 Long moved to Statesville and abandoned painting to become an ordained minister. He worked in a church in Statesville, and then became an evangelist in Macon, Georgia. His artistic interests returned later in his life: he illustrated the Book of Revelations when he was in his seventies. He had completed ninety Revelations paintings before his death in 1976. These paintings reflected emotional expression rather than technical skill. He is one of the most famous visionary painters from North Carolina. In 1992 the Asheville Art Museum hosted an exhibition in his honor, entitled 'Inside Visions'. Davidson College held a major retrospective of Long's work, "Picture Painter of the Apocalypse," in January 2002. Long's work is in the permanent collections of Davidson College, the Asheville Art Museum, the North Carolina Art Museum, and several collectors throughout North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Nebraska.