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Robert Frederick Blum (American, 1857-1903)


Also known as:  Blum, Robert

A native of Cincinnati, Robert Frederick Blum was an active and successful artist, versatile in a number of media and highly regarded as a pastelist. His vibrant and atmospheric work, which incorporated Impressionist techniques, reflected the influence of James McNeill Whistler and William Merritt Chase and helped pave the way in America for the acceptance of Impressionism. Although Blum studied at the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, he was practically self-taught, showing original talent not merely as a painter but also as an illustrator and muralist. One of Blum’s most important works was a large double frieze -- Moods to Music and The Vintage Festival -- in the Mendelssohn Music Hall, built in New York City in the early 1890s.

The winner of gold medals at the 1889 Paris Exposition and the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, Blum was a member of the National Academy of Design, Society of American Artists, American Watercolor Society, National Society of Mural Painters, and Society of Painters in Pastel. In addition to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, his paintings can be viewed at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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