Albert Bloch Personal Library

The Personal Library of Albert Bloch (1882-1961) was donated by the Albert Bloch Foundation in 2014. Mr. Scott Heffley, President of the Foundation, commented: “Because of Albert Bloch’s involvement at KU from 1922 to his retirement in 1947 and the Spencer Museum [of Art]’s continued activities with the artist, I think it is only appropriate that his library go to the Max Kade Center.”

The Library reflects the significant breadth of Bloch’s intellectual pursuits and achievements: he was an artist, a poet, and the authorized translator of Karl Kraus’s poetry. The Library contains early editions of published works by Kraus (and others in his circle), but also copies of Bloch’s notes to some of Kraus’s texts, original issues of Die Fackel, and reviews of Kraus’s dramas and theatrical readings.

Albert Bloch was a talented, American-born artist who  moved to Munich in 1909. By 1911, fellow artists Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc encouraged him to join the artists’ group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Bloch was the only American affiliated with this group of German Expressionists.

Bloch returned to the United States in 1921 and served as the head of KU’s Department of Painting and Drawing until 1947. For the remainder of his career, Bloch shunned changing artistic trends, preferring to concentrate on his personal style of realism to depict the bountiful Kansas landscape.

Text by Jessica Palko

Albert Bloch in his Studio, 1015 Alabama Street, Lawrence, KS.

Photographer: Anna Francis Bloch