Iowa Artist: Isabel Bloom

isabel bloom

Do you know Isabel Bloom?

Well, maybe you don’t know her … I don’t know her either, but I wish I did.

Maybe you are familiar with her work?

isabel bloom violet

{ This is Violet.  She is my favorite. }

Being born and raised in Iowa, and a fellow artist, I have a special place in my heart for Isabel Bloom and just want to share some details about her that I find fascinating.

Isabel Scherer Bloom

  • born in Galveston, Texas, in 1908.
  • moved to Davenport, Iowa, in 1909 and remained there for the rest of her life.
  • original education was in dressmaking and design.
  • started attending the Stone City Art Colony in 1932.
  • studied under Grant Wood.
  • met her future husband, John Bloom (also an artist), while at the Colony.
  • created and starred in a children’s program at the Davenport WOC television station for several years called “Make Believe” ( she made all the sets )
  • her figurines are crafted from the locally available materials of concrete and river stone.
  • she sculpted in their basement studio in her spare time, mixing her own cement with a shovel.
  • got her business started by submitting several concrete pieces to shops in Chicago
  • Hoops, a garden shop on Michigan Avenue, was the first American retail outlet for the Isabel Bloom figurine line.
  • by the early 60’s, she quickly outgrew her basement and rented studio space in an abandoned ice cream factory.
  • she maintained a studio, which became her shop, on Brown Street in the Village of East Davenport until 1981.
  • Bloom sold the shop to a group of Quad-Cities businessmen who expanded the retail chain on a national scale. The original storefront is still a staple of its quaint shopping district.
  • She continued to advise and promote the figurine company until her death at age 93 in 2001.

Living here in Iowa, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of Isabel Bloom figurines.  Shoot, it’s practically a staple in the gardens & homes of local residents.

We are also extremely fortunate to receive several pieces on consignment at all of our Stuff locations.  At any given time, you can walk into our Davenport store and find at least a dozen pieces for sale in the case.  The extra special, often retired pieces are featured in our “Silent Auction” – like this one currently available:

{ Girl With Bird,  1ft 7in tall  – isn’t she beautiful? }

Here’s a little sample of what else is currently available in the case at the Davenport Stuff Etc …

Thanks for letting me share!  Perhaps you are an Isabel Bloom fan too?

xoxoxo

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