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Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001

Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001

Blume, Peter, 1906-1992

Sculptor, Painter

Representative image for Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001

This site provides access to the papers of Peter Blume in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2015, and total 9,605 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 7.6 linear feet

Summary: The papers of New York and Connecticut painter Peter Blume date from 1870 to 2001 and measure 7.6 linear feet. Found are biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, galleries and institutions, and writers; writings on art by Blume and others; subject files regarding organizations, works of art, exhibitions, and reference files; personal business records; printed material; two scrapbooks; photographs of Blume, family, friends, and works of art; extensive artwork; and material relating to Blume's wife's family, the Cratons.

Biographical/Historical Note

Russian-born painter and sculptor Peter Blume (1906-1992) was active in New York and Connecticut.

Provenance

The Peter Blume papers were donated by in 1993 by Grace Blume, Peter Blume's widow. Additional papers were donated by Catherine Weiss, Jamie Vance, and Leigh Butler in 2010.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A Finding Aid to the Peter Blume Papers, 1870-2001, in the Archives of American Art
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Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Josefson
Biographical/Historical note
Russian-born painter and sculptor Peter Blume (1906-1992) was active in New York and Connecticut. His style combined American and European traditions with folk art and surrealism.
Peter Blume was born Piotr Sorek-Sabel in 1906 in Smorgon, Russia. With his family, he emigrated to the United States in 1911 and settled in New York City. Blume studied at the Educational Alliance and the Art Students League in New York. Influenced by folk art, Precisionism, Cubism, and Surrealism, Blume combined European and American painting tradition to create his own style. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1932 and travelled to Italy.
In 1934, Blume's
South of Scranton
(1931) won the first prize at the Carnegie International Exhibition. Later, he exhibited
The Eternal City
(1937) at the Julian Levy Galleries in Manhattan. With the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the Treasury Department, Blume completed two post office murals in New York and Pennsylvania. Blume was a member of the National Academy of Design and was active with the American Academy in Rome.
Peter Blume married Grace "Ebie" Douglas Craton in 1931. The couple built their home in Sherman, Connecticut. The Blumes travelled the world and kept close relationships with family and friends, such as Ann and Heber Blankenhorn, Malcolm Cowley, and Ned and Nancy Holsten.
Peter Blume died in Connecticut in 1992.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 10 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950-1992 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1926-1992 (1.8 linear feet; Box 1-3)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1929-1986 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3, 9)
Series 4: Subject Files, circa 1930-1988 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3-4)
Series 5: Personal Business and Financial Records, 1934-1983 (0.6 linear feet; Box 4, 9)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1930-1990 (0.7 linear feet; Box 4-5, 9, OV 15-16)
Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1934-1944 (3 folders; Box 5)
Series 8: Photographs, 1917-circa 1980 (1.1 linear feet; Box 5-6, 9)
Series 9: Artwork, 1932-1984 (2.0 linear feet; Box 6-9, OV 10-14)
Series 10: Craton Family Papers, 1870-2001 (0.2 linear feet; Box 6)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of New York and Connecticut painter Peter Blume date from 1870 to 2001 and measure 7.6 linear feet. Found are biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, galleries and institutions, and writers; writings on art by Blume and others; subject files regarding organizations, works of art, exhibitions, and reference files; personal business records; printed material; two scrapbooks; photographs of Blume, family, friends, and works of art; extensive artwork; and material relating to Blume's wife's family, the Cratons.
Biographical materials include an award, obituaries, a travel itinerary, and sound recordings and transcripts of interviews of Peter Blume by Alfred H. Barr, Boston College, Harry Boursa, and Visionary Company Magazine.
Correspondence is professional and personal. Letters are from friends, family, artists, writers, galleries, and institutions. Notable correspondents include Kirk Askew, Malcolm Cowley, Peter DeVries, Joseph Hirsch, and Frank A. Trapp, among others. Also found is Grace Blume's correspondence which includes letters to and from Peter Blume and letters from Grace to her family members and friends. The bulk of Grace Blume's correspondence concerns her travels with Blume.
Writings and notes by Blume include a travel journal, lists of works of art, lectures, talks and other writings on art, artists, and friends. Writings by others include theses and scholarly papers about Blume, and include writings by Heber Blankenhorn, Kenneth Burke, Malcolm Cowley, Robert Ulrich Godsoe, Frank Getlein, Michael A. Kelly, and Frank A. Trapp. Also found is criticism on
The Rock
by school children.
Blume's subject files cover the American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Artists Congress, Heber Blankenhorn, works of art by Blume, exhibitions, and the Connecticut Council on the Arts. Also found are reference files consisting of photographs of artwork by others and clippings.
Personal business and financial records consist of business correspondence with galleries and museums; sales and consignment records; scattered price lists; and receipts and invoices relating to the building and running of Blume's house in Connecticut.
Printed materials include clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs for solo and group shows, magazines featuring articles about Blume, posters, and reproductions of works of art.
Scrapbooks include a fragment of a scrapbook from 1942-1944 and a clippings scrapbook from 1934-1939.
Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Peter Blume, Grace Blume, family, friends, travel, parties, pets, homes, landscapes, exhibitions, and works of art. There are also photos of the Askews, the Blankenhorns, the Cowleys, Alfred Eisenstaedt, the Holstens, the Josephsons, Arthur Miller, Georgia O'Keeffe, the Sobys, and Raphael Soyer.
Artwork by Peter Blume includes completed drawings, sketches, doodles, prints, and preliminary drawings for many of his works. Of note are extensive sketches of heads, and preliminary drawings for
Recollection of the Flood
.
Craton family papers consist of geneological material relating to Grace Blume's brother, James Craton and his wife Catherine Sears Craton. Found are vital records; military records for James and Marshall Craton; correspondence; scattered financial records; clippings; and family photographs.
Provenance
The Peter Blume papers were donated by in 1993 by Grace Blume, Peter Blume's widow. Additional papers were donated by Catherine Weiss, Jamie Vance, and Leigh Butler in 2010.
Related Archival Materials note
Also in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Peter Blume conducted on August 16th, 1983 to May 23rd, 1984 by Robert F. Brown.
Processing Information note
The Peter Blume papers were arranged upon receipt and fully merged, arranged, and described by Jayna Josefson in 2013 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

The collection was digitized in 2014 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

How to Cite This Collection

Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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