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The East Village in Bloom

Isabel and John Bloom brought Grant Wood's regionalism to the Quad Cities and beyond.
by

susan flansburg

on 8 October 2012

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Transcript of The East Village in Bloom

Isabel and John's
Legacy Isabel Rose Scherer was born in Galveston, Texas on Feb. 20, 1908 and raised in Davenport, Iowa. Her artistic life began early.

As a young girl, Isabel fashioned small animals from clay dug along the banks of the Mississippi River and baked in the family hearth. Later, she received daily art lessons at Davenport's Immaculate Conception Academy, followed by further training at the Vogue School of Fashion and Design. Later still, Isabel attended the Chicago Art Institute. Changing the art scene since Grant Wood's time In the early 1930's, Isabel spent 2 summers at the Stone City Art Colony in central Iowa, carving limestone under the watchful eye of America's great regionalist artist, Grant Wood. While there, Isabel met another soon-to-be accomplished young artist, John Bloom, whom she married in 1938. While sculpting in her new Davenport home and raising 3 young sons, Isabel accepted the challenge of communicating in the new medium of live television. As host of the children's program, "Let's Make Believe," Isabel modeled, dressed and used clay figurines of her own design to illustrate the stories she told. A short art lesson concluded each program. Isabel's insightful observations of children became the driving inspiration of her career as a sculptor. Isabel's experimentation with the reproduction of her clay sculptures led to the development of the unique concrete casting and finishing process still used to create each Isabel Bloom statue. Hand-finished to resemble weathered bronze Victorian-era garden sculptures, Isabel was now able to produce multiple pieces for sale. the end John Vincent Bloom is the living link between us and the late, great regionalists. His is the vital hand that took up the brush of Grant Wood to create the regionalist style and spirit in our own time. Like Grant Wood his mentor and colleague, John Bloom (1906) was a native who drew inspiration from his immediate surroundings and personal experiences. During the course of his sixty- year career as an artist, Bloom produced a considerable body of work ranging from large murals to intimate studies, sculptures carved in wood to lithographic prints and easel paintings. His interest in depicting local, American subject matter reflects his life-long commitment to Regionalism, a movement popular during the Great Depression.
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