BLOOM, HYMAN (1913– ), U.S. painter. Born in Latvia, Bloom and his family moved to Boston in 1920, whereupon they changed their name from Melamed to the more American sounding Bloom. Around the age of 14 Bloom began studying art at a Jewish Community Center with Harold Zimmerman, who was already mentoring jack levine . Bloom and Levine later studied art with Denman Waldo Ross of Harvard University. Some of Bloom's early drawings from this period are part of the permanent collection of Harvard's Fogg Art Museum. The Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration provided Bloom with financial assistance in the late 1930s and early 1940s. At this time, Bloom's Orthodox up-bringing influenced his propensity toward religious subjects, which included impressions of Judaic rituals and synagogue interiors rendered in thick pigment in luminescent tones. This style first won him acclaim in 1942 when New York's Museum of Modern Art purchased The Bride (1941), a personification of the Sabbath bride, and The Synagogue (c. 1940), the latter of which he created in two versions. In the 1940s Bloom painted four canvases of Jews holding torahs. These images employ rich colors that blend the figure with the ritual object. Bloom based his chandelier paintings of 1945 on the light fixtures in the Boston synagogue he attended as a child. These paintings show enlarged, dazzling chandeliers dominating the canvas. In the same year he painted Christmas trees, indicating that the subject of the work, a glowing object, interested Bloom more than the identity of the light source. By 1948 Bloom began painting cadavers, influenced in part by his interest in the art of chaim soutine , whose work he had seen at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Even as abstraction rose to prominence, Bloom never let go of representational forms. Indeed, in an artistic climate sometimes hostile to such imagery, Bloom continued to paint traditional subjects, such as landscapes and still lifes, in an expressionistic, painterly fashion. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Wight, Hyman Bloom (1954); D.A. Thompson, Hyman Bloom (1996) (Samantha Baskind (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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