John Insley Blair (1876-1939)

J. Insley Blair, of "Blairhame" Tuxedo Park, New York

Associated Houses

Blair Eyrie

Bar Harbor


Tuxedo Park

Blair Estate


He was born at the Blair Estate, New Jersey. He was educated at the Browning School in New York City and at Princeton University. After graduating, he briefly joined the family banking firm, Blair & Co., but not being cut out for business he took early retirement in 1905 to live in the Adirondacks. From 1913, he made his home at Blairhame in Tuxedo Park and summered at Blair Eyrie in Bar Harbor, Maine. In Manhattan, he lived at 35 East 76th Street before moving to 4 East 61st Street and then retiring in the 1930s to 465 Park Avenue. He was Chairman of the governing committee of the Tuxedo Club from 1925 to 1929, and a keen golfer, tennis and racquet player. In 1912, he married Natalie Bennet Knowlton, daughter of Danford H. Knowlton. They became known as major art collectors and collectors of Americana, much of which was donated to the Museum of the City of New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the New-York Historical Society; and the Cooper Union.  They had 2-daughters: (1) Natica, Mrs Screven Lorillard, and (2) Joan, Mrs Henry Osborne Havemeyer, then Mrs J. Woodhull Overton. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 16/04/2020 and last updated on 13/10/2021.