Block (Lou) (1895-1969) collection, 1934-1965

Descriptive Summary

Title
Block (Lou) (1895-1969) collection, 1934-1965
Creator
Block, Lou, 1895-1969
Extent
13.5 linear ft., ca. 3,130 photographs
Subjects
Photography
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
University of Louisville

Collection Overview

Scope and Content
Lou Block was a painter, photographer, muralist, and illustrator who worked with Diego Rivera on the murals for Rockefeller Center. He lived and worked in Louisville from 1951 to 1968, teaching painting and creative photography at the University of Louisville and the Art Center Association. His papers include correspondence with numerous book and journal publishers, officials in the National Youth Administration and Works Progress Administration, the Merchant Marine, United Seaman's Service, War Production Board, Citizens Committee for the Arts, Archives of American Art, and his friend Ben Shahn. Also present are articles by Block, along with illustrations and documentation on his mural designs, including a mural proposed at Riker's Island. The photograph collection includes photographs made in New York in the 1930s, including an Artist's Union strike in 1934, and studies for the Riker's Island murals. Later work includes Block's photographs made in Louisville, Mexico, New York City, and New Jersey. Block was at work on several book projects at the time of his death and the collection also contains his typescripts and notes on these. Photographs from the collection and materials from the papers are currently traveling in the exhibition Ben Shahn's New York produced by the Harvard Art Museums in 2000. Also present are Block's personal collection of photographs with work by Ben Shahn, Alfred Eisenstadt, and Barney Cowherd.