Study of a Black Man
4 1/8 x 6 7/8 in. (10.5 x 17.5 cm)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink, with gray wash
Gift of Benjamin D. Bernstein
Label from American Originals: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, La Salle University Art Museum, December 16, 2015 through March 4, 2016:
Bloch was a prominent German-born Jewish artist who immigrated to Philadelphia with his family in 1893. He studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) and PAFA, where he was influenced by Thomas Eakins. He became an important Social Realist artist known for his sympathetic depictions of working class people, particularly African American men. During the Great Depression, he worked for the Federal Art Project and received national attention for his portrayals of poor and oppressed groups of people. He became an instructor at PAFA in 1948. His work was featured in a major retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1983. These two artworks illustrate variations in Bloch’s drawing techniques, from a detailed portrayal of facial features in Study of a Black Man, to a sketchier rendering of an outdoor scene in Shoe Shine Boy.