Peter Blume

Peter Blume

The Rock, 1944-1948
Born (1906-10-27)October 27, 1906
Smarhoń, Belarus
Died November 30, 1992(1992-11-30) (aged 86)
New Milford, Connecticut
Nationality American
Known for Painting
Movement Folk art, Precisionism, Parisian Purism, Cubism, Surrealism

Peter Blume (27 October 1906 - 30 November 1992) was an American painter and sculptor. His work contained elements of folk art, precisionism, Parisian Purism, Cubism, and Surrealism.[1]


Blume, born in Smarhon, Russia (present-day Belarus) to a Jewish family,[2] emigrated with his family to New York City in 1912; the family settled in Brooklyn.[1] He studied art at the Educational Alliance, the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and the Art Students League of New York, establishing his own studio by 1926.[3] He trained with Raphael Soyer and Isaac Soyer, exhibited with Charles Daniel, and was patronized by the Rockefeller family.[4] Blume married Grace Douglas in 1931; they had no surviving children.[1] In 1948, Blume was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1956.


An admirer of Renaissance technique, Blume worked by drawing and making cartoons before putting his work on canvas. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1932 and spent a year in Italy. His first major recognition came in 1934 with a first prize for South of Scranton at a Carnegie Institute International Exhibition. The painting was inspired by a trip across Pennsylvania in an old car that required frequent repair.[1] Eternal City (1934–1937) was politically charged, portraying Benito Mussolini as a jack-in-the-box emerging from the Colosseum; as a one-man, one-painting exhibition, it excited considerable attention from critics and audiences.[1][5]

Blume worked for the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Treasury Department, painting at least two post office murals, in Geneva, New York, and Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.[6]

Blume's works often portrayed destruction and restoration simultaneously.[1] Stones and girders made frequent appearances; The Rock (1944–1948) was interpreted by its viewers as symbolizing renewal in the wake of World War II.[7] Recollection of the Flood (1969) depicted the victims of the 1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence along with restorers at work. The Metamorphoses (1979) invoked the Greek legend of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who repopulated the earth after a deluge.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Smith, Roberta (1992-12-01). "Peter Blume, 86, Painter of Dreamlike Narratives". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  2. Jewish Art in America. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. "Peter Blume. (American, 1906-1992)". MOMA. 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  4. "Peter Blume interviews, 1983 Aug. 16-1984 May 23". Smithsonian Museum. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  5. "Image of Italy". Time. 1937-12-06. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  6. Park, Marlene and Gerald E. Markowitz, ‘’Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal’’, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1984 p. 84
  7. "Blume The Rock Framed Poster". Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 2008-10-14.

Further reading

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.