Albemarle Sound at Scotch Hall, Francis Speight, Oil on Canvas

Francis Speight and Sarah Blakeslee Gallery

Francis Speight and Sarah Blakeslee were two nationally known artists who lived and worked in eastern North Carolina during the 20th century. Speight was born in Bertie County, North Carolina and Blakeslee grew up in Washington, D.C. They studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and embraced the school’s emphasis on Realism. Speight taught painting and drawing at the Academy from 1925 until 1961. Blakeslee was one of his students; they married in 1936. In 1961, they moved to Greenville, North Carolina, where Francis became the artist-in-residence at East Carolina University. Sarah painted and taught adult classes at local art centers.