Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
The papers of painter and educator Albert Bloch measure 17.9 linear feet and date from 1873 to 2014. The collection documents his career as an artist and university professor in Lawrence, Kansas, as well as his time in Munich, Germany, as part of the Blue Rider group of German Expressionists. The collection includes biographical material, extensive personal and professional correspondence, writings, personal business records, exhibition files, printed material, photographs, and artwork. Throughout the collection are records maintained by his widow Anna Bloch on the exhibition, sale, and research of Bloch's work after his death.
Biographical material includes vital records, passports, chronologies, biographical summaries, family history documents, and bibliography files compiled by Anna Bloch. Correspondence is with family, friends, artists, art historians, students, museums, galleries, publishers, magazines, and others, and includes letters of both a personal and professional nature. Of note is Albert Bloch's correspondence with artists Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Emmy Klinker, Franz Marc, Philipp Fehl, and his students James Penney and Robert Sudlow.
Writings include poetry, lectures, essays, notes, and Bloch's translations of the writings of Austrian writer Karl Kraus. Included are many drafts of his book of poetry, "Ventures in Verse: Selected Pieces". Also found are love notes between Albert and Anna Bloch. Writings by others include a few notebooks and loose notes by Anna Bloch, essays and lectures about Bloch's artwork, and poetry.
Personal business records include lists of artworks, price lists, sales records, and ownership records, and more recent records concerning artwork conservation; agreements, and consignment records with art galleries and dealers; and artwork shipping records, all maintained by Anna Bloch. Exhibition files are not comprehensive, and primarily document retrospective exhibitions of Bloch's artwork occurring after his death. Of note are records, including a scrapbook, for a 1997 retrospective at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Printed material includes exhibition publications, news clippings, magazines, journals, and photocopies of Bloch's work for "The Mirror". Photographs depict Bloch in his home, studio, and with family and friends. Also found are many photographs of family and friends, artwork by Bloch, Blue Rider exhibition photographs taken by artist Gabriele Münter, and two photograph album "Record Books" that contain annotated photographs of his painting during the period that he lived in Germany. A small amount of artwork includes sketches by Bloch.
An addition of 0.2 linear feet donated 2017 includes 15 letters from Anna Bloch consisting of 10 letters written to Albert Bloch's cousin Max Kahn, 1957-1992, and 5 letters written to a more distant cousin David Strauss, 1995-1997; and two inventories (photocopies) of works of art by Bloch.
Albert Bloch papers, 1873-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The Albert Bloch, the American Blue Rider Exhibition records, 1994-1997, are available at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Albert Bloch (1882-1961) was a painter and educator in Lawrence, Kansas. From 1909 to 1921, he lived and worked in Germany, where he was associated with Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group of European modernists.
Some correspondence is in German.
Donated 2015 by the Albert Bloch Foundation via Scott Heffley, president. Additonal letters from Anna Bloch donated 2017 by David Strauss, Albert Bloch's cousin.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001