Julius Thiengen Bloch (1888-1966)
Julius Bloch was born in Germany and emigrated with his parents to Philadelphia in 1893. He studied at the School of the Pennsylvania Museum and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Anshutz. He was a social realist painter whose subjects in the 1930’s and 1940’s focused on the working classes. His admiration for Thomas Eakins, also a social realist, likely contributed to his interest in these subjects. For many years, he was a teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy, and his message to students was that you need to know life in order to paint life. One of the first American artists to paint poverty-stricken black Americans, he tried to make sure that his subjects retained their dignity. In 1934, he was asked to submit a painting to a Center City department store for National Art Week. His entry was a portrait of Alonzo Jennings, a black man. "Store officials said it was one of the finest paintings they had seen in years, but that the store 'could not exhibit a portrait of a Negro in its windows.' They asked Bloch if he had any pictures of whites. He said he did, but they were not available." (Freeman)
His work is in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Whitney, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PAFA, and many others.
Titled “Little Girl with Daffodils” and dated 1945.
Oil on canvas, 32” x 25”.