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Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001

Biographical 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.