Skip to main content

Peter Blume papers, 1870-2001

More Information

Jayna M. Josefson
Scope and Contents
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.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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
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.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Processing Information
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.