Painter, Educator, Author
Los Angeles, Calif.
Collection size: 1.7 linear ft.
Collection Summary: A résumé and award; business correspondence, 1964-1984, some regarding the opening of The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Block's teaching position at California State University Northridge, and personal correspondence including 5 illustrated letters by Block to his wife and two printed cards from Fritz Faiss; artwork, including 2 sketches, 1962, and ca. 60 pencil figurative drawings and studies done during weekly life drawing sessions established by Block and Hans Burkhardt at the Studio Club on the MGM lot from the 1950s to mid-1970s (among them is a pastel by Burkhardt of Block drawing the nude model); printed material, 1941-1982, including exhibition catalogs and clippings; subject files on the WPA, 1938-1983, film animation, 1957-1976, and book illustration, 1978-1984; financial records relating to Block's association with the Ankrum Gallery, 1936-1981; a sound cassette with side A containing Block's reminiscences of his friendship with Burkhardt, and side B, a recording of Block delivering a lecture to a senior seminar class on Walt Whitman; photographs of Block, his friends, family and works of art.
Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, art instructor, graphic artist and writer, Los Angeles, California. Block was born in New York City. He was involved in the Works Projects Administration's Federal Art Project in the 1930s, and worked as a matte shot artist at 20th Century Fox during the 1940s and 50s. He taught for many years at California State University, Northridge (1963-1980). Block co-authored with Alan Adler the original story for the science fiction film Forbidden Planet, for which he designed Robbie the Robot.
Donated 1984 by Block and in 1996 by Jill Block, the widow of Irving Block.
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