Style: Modern , cubism, surrealism, precisionism
Background: Blume, born on November 27, 1906 in Smarhon, Russia (present-day Belarus) to a Jewish family. He was an American painter and sculptor. His work contained elements of folk art, precisionism, Parisian Purism, Cubism, and Surrealism.
Education: He studied art at the Educational Alliance, the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and the Art Students League of New York, establishing his own studio by 1926. He trained with Raphael Soyer and Isaac Soyer, exhibited with Charles Daniel, and was patronized by the Rockefeller family.
Achievements: An admirer of Renaissance technique, Blume worked by drawing and making cartoons before putting his work on canvas. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1932 and spent a year in Italy. His first major recognition came in 1934 with a first prize for South of Scranton at a Carnegie Institute International Exhibition. The painting was inspired by a trip across Pennsylvania in an old car that required frequent repair. Eternal City (1934–1937) was politically charged, portraying Benito Mussolini as a jack-in-the-box emerging from the Coliseum; as a one-man, one-painting exhibition, it excited considerable attention from critics and audiences.
Blume worked for the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Treasury Department, painting at least one post office mural, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
Blume’s works often portrayed destruction and restoration simultaneously. Stones and girders made frequent appearances; The Rock (1944–1948) was interpreted by its viewers as symbolizing renewal in the wake of World War II. Recollection of the Flood (1969) depicted the victims of the 1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence along with restorers at work. The Metamorphoses (1979) invoked the Greek legend of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who repopulated the earth after a deluge.