Saturday, August 25, through Sunday, January 13
Panel Discussion: Thursday, August 30, 6:30 p.m.
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA
One of the Quad Cities' most revered artists, and the husband (of 63 years) of area icon Isabel Bloom, will be celebrated in the Figge Art Museum's John Bloom: Close to Home, an August 25 through January 13 exhibition of works by the regional artist who, at age 96, passed away in 2002.
Born in 1906, John Vincent Bloom lived within 200 miles of the Quad Cities for most of his life. Memories from his childhood in the small town of DeWitt, Iowa, often surfaced in his artwork, from his recollections of a swift escape from Sunday services at St. Joseph’s to watching farmers at work in the fields. At the age of 18, Bloom moved to Davenport and attended St. Ambrose College (now University) before enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1926. He attended Stone City Art Colony in 1932, where he met his future wife Isabel – whose home and garden sculptures made her a household name in the Quad Cities – and studied with Grant Wood. Bloom and Wood completed a number of mural commissions together, and following Wood’s example, Bloom was dedicated to celebrating Midwestern life in his artwork. Along with his wife, the artist also created the illustrations for the children's book The Story of Little Cat, for which Isabel wrote the text.
John Bloom: Close to Home will feature more than 60 works by the beloved local artist. In addition to his celebrated paintings, sculptures, and prints, Bloom’s figure sketches and examples of his work as an industrial designer will be on display, offering a new way to look at the familiar artist. An illustrated booklet, published with funds from the new William D. and Shirley J. Homrighausen Endowment for Publications, will accompany the exhibition.
The panel discussion “Remembering John & Isabel Bloom” will take place on August 30 at 6:30 p.m., and regular museum hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays) and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information on John Bloom: Close to Home and other Figge exhibits, programs, and events, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.