Our latest project for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a monograph of the American modernist painter Peter Blume. The first retrospective of his work since 1976 opens this Friday at PAFA.

Blume (1906–1992) was critical to the development and reception of modernism in the United States and his work played a key role in disseminating avant-garde ideas in the American art world. Among the first American artists to use Surrealist methods, Blume remained independent of organized groups but stayed politically engaged all his life. His large yet highly detailed paintings explore political power, the creative force of nature, and cultural memory. Catalogue essays by PAFA Senior Curator Robert Cozzolino and art historians Samantha Baskind, Sergio Cortesini, Robert Cowley, David McCarthy, and Sarah Vure explore these and other themes in Blume’s work.

The catalogue was designed by Susan Kelly and produced by Marquand Books. The 350-page book includes over 150 illustrations of Blume’s paintings and exploratory drawings. Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis will be on view at PAFA through April 5, 2015, before traveling to the Wadsworth Atheneum in July 2015.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit PAFA. To purchase copies of the book, visit the University of Pennsylvania Press.


Photography by Meghann Ney