Signed at lower right: "Julius T Bloch"
Julius Bloch was born in Kehl, Germany, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1893. He settled in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Anshutz and at the Barnes Foundation in Merion. He won a Cresson Traveling Scholarship at the Academy in 1911 that enabled him to travel throughout Europe.
He began his career by painting floral still-lives, the subjects being a way for him to experiment with a less realistic style and to use more vivid color. Between 1916 and 1937, thirteen of the twenty seven paintings he exhibited at the Academy’s annual shows were of flowers. Bloch however, became deeply influenced by the social conditions of the Depression. He changed his focus to express his sympathy of the poverty stricken population. The financial hardships of Bloch's own family - German Jews who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1893 - made him attentive to the emotional burdens of the Depression. He captured moving portraits of the working classes, while trying to retain the dignity of his subject matter.
Bloch worked and taught regularly, until his death in 1966. One year after, a memorial exhibition of his work was held at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. In 1983, the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibited a survey of his career from 1912 up until the 1950s.
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