The arts competitions lasted until the 1948 Olympics in London. After that, there were arts festivals held in conjunction with the Games, but no Olympic medals were given.
Avery Brundage, who became president of the International Olympic Committee in 1952. He championed amateurism and expressed doubts that many of the artists who had participated in the Games were pure nonprofessionals.
Stanton, an amateur historian from Aptos, Calif., who self-published his extensive history of the subject, said Brundage might have had an ulterior motive -- resentment.
"He had entered in the literature category twice," said Stanton, 65. "The best he got was an honorable mention."
Blair's 1932 medal helped bring attention to what is now known as the California Style of watercolor painting. Over the next few years, his works were featured in exhibitions, but given the financial realities of the time, he chose a more commercial career path.
His wife, Mary, was also an artist who went to work for Disney. Her work there, and away from the studio, eventually overshadowed his, at least in popularity.
She's particularly known for playing a key role in the design of the It's a Small World ride that debuted at the New York World's Fair.
Her fame caused friction. "He always felt that he kind of took a back seat to my aunt," said another niece, Maggie Richardson of Rancho Cucamonga. "It was a male-ego kind of thing." Mary died in 1978.
According to Santa Barbara gallery owner Frank Goos, who has handled the couple's works, one of Lee's watercolors could now fetch as much as $25,000.
If they could be found. "Rodeo," in particular, is missing.
After the 1932 Olympics, "Rodeo" was either donated or sold (accounts differ) to Blair's alma mater, Polytechnic High School in downtown Los Angeles, where it hung in the library.
Then the trail goes cold. The school was relocated to Sun Valley in 1957, but the painting is not there, according to school officials. The Los Angeles Unified School District has no record of its whereabouts.
Just about the only remaining public reminder of Blair's Olympic achievement is a bronze plaque on the wall of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
There, his name is listed as a gold medal winner, along with those who won in gymnastics, wrestling and, of course, sculpture.