• Welcome

    This site is designed as a tribute to an extraordinary artist, Myrna Bloom.

    As a sculptor ... another Brancusi? I think her work is more varied and inventive.

    And her paintings! I could get lost for hours in the masterful details.

     

    In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife and I are the proud owners of a Myrna Bloom polished bronze called "Icaricorn Dancing," which we enjoy every day. Dollar values have little to do with the intrinsic worth of any art, but I am thrilled to report that "Icaricorn" has proven to be a wonderful investment, now going for five and a half times what we paid for it.

     

    In these pages you can see the amazing range of Myrna's work for yourself. Most of the items shown are available for purchase, but because they are one-of-a-kind, they are subject to prior sale.

     

    Many of Myrna's works are in public and private collections. Thanks to advances in art technology, they can be reproduced and special-ordered for a fraction of the cost of the labor-intensive and costly-to-make originals. You can own a unique piece for as little as $100. She welcomes your comments and inquiries through her private link here and on the "Say Hello to Myrna" page at the bottom of the site.

  • About Myrna Bloom

    An exceptional artist

    Background: Education

    A native Philadelphian, Myrna Bloom began her formal art training in 1963, after the birth of her two sons. She matriculated in 1968 on full scholarship at Temple University's Tyler School of Art. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in June 1972 with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture. Upon completing the two-year course on the philosophy and appreciation of art at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA, Myrna was an active participant in its Seminar program throughout the 1970's.

    Related Interests

    A natural collector, Myrna's love of Oriental Rugs led to teaching, writing about, cleaning and restoring them. She filled her home with them, sometimes wears them, and features them in her paintings and prints. Her 25+ year internet business The EAST-WEST ROOM specialized in books about rugs, textiles and ornaments from the middle and far east.

     

    A lover of symphonic and operatic music, Myrna relates some of the whimsical notions in her work, at times openly humorous, more often subtle - to a Mozart piano concerto. A dancer springing ... a rabbit at rest, an automobile fender, all have served as artistic inspiration for her.

  • Here are Myrna's musings...

    Plus, Myrna reminisces about each piece in Shop Now, under MORE DETAILS.

     

    Let "idea" art be. I remain committed to making objects, and 'catalogs' of objects,

    as beautifully as I can.

     

    • Working in two dimensions, I try to present my 3-dimensional subject accurately, whether it is alive, or designed and manufactured. Despite concentrating on my model, it's humor or elegance to me, its juxtaposition to other objects and the space around it ... the result is a final image that is generally very different from what the camera's eye would see.

     

    We have two eyes. We have knowledge and experience of, and interaction with our subject. The influences of giants from the arts of the ages (the sophisticated whimsy of a Mozart sonata) co-mingles with our own experience.

     

    • What is already three dimensional doesn’t move me to mimic it; hence my abstract sculpture. Concern is with both the solid volume and the way its outer contour moves around itself and into its surroundings. In whatever medium, its surface is generally smooth and polished, scratches and contour irregularities eliminated - so that the sightless person with highly developed touch sensitivity might enjoy the contrasts of curves and rounds, angles and sharp edges - as much as a sighted person can.

     

    Color, and the reflectivity of polished surfaces, are of deep personal interest; influences drawn from the magic of mirrors and qualities of the sun. Each shape and volume, its edges and contours, are intended to contrast as well as harmonize with its shiny surface.

     

    Positioning and balancing are important considerations, whether the sculpture is symmetrical and grounded as we humans are, or its equilibrium appears precarious, as our moods sometimes are. My multi-positionable pieces especially show such conditions, like those we have all felt - in airplanes, under water … in the pre-birth state.

     

    • My one-of-a-kind laser and giclée prints combine real objects with abstract surprise.

     

    In whatever medium, whether representational or abstract,

    and whether of varying depths of illusionistic space in a picture,

    or of volume in a three-dimensional work,

    whether showing deep colors that oil paint stimulates,

    or my pastel sensibility to acrylics,

    whether the open lacy work of welded steel or the smooth solid object ...

    the roof that covers all of my work is one of attention to detail within the house.

     

    Precision is a word I hear.

     

    Myrna Bloom

     

    Updated 2018

  • HONORS

     

    Awards, Commissions

    Recognition for Myrna's work includes major awards from Cheltenham Art Centre, Woodmere Art Museum, Hunterdon Art Center, Silvermine Guild, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Watermark Retirement Communities.

     

    "Balance," a polished bronze sculpture, was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as the model for the Hazlett Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts in Pennsylvania. Cast, finished and mounted replicas of it were given annually by then Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh. Among the over 50 artists presented with this work of Myrna's between 1980 and 1985 were Eugene Ormandy, Fred (Mr.) Rogers, Harry Bertoia, George Nakashima, and Robert Venturi/Denise Scott Brown. The official photograph/poster was displayed during a one-hour special on public television. Now it can be seen near the beginning and throughout the list of extensive credits in a Henry Koerner (painter awardee 1984) YouTube feature you can watch by clicking HERE (...may take a minute to upload.) Further information and documents can be found in this site on the "Memorabilia" page.

    Exhibitions

    Myrna has had 16 solo exhibitions of her work in various media, including at Philadelphia University, Glassboro State College, and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. She has exhibited extensively in both juried and invited shows on the local, regional and national level since 1967. Among many others, her work has been exhibited at Gross-McLeaf, Eric Makler, Walnut Street Theatre Gallery, the outdoor sculpture garden of Temple University's Ambler Music Festival, Temple University Alumni Shows, New York's National Academy of Design annual exhibitions, University City Science Center, and the Governor's Mansion in Pennsylvania. Biggs Museum of American Art acquired her painting, "Chairs I" for its permanent collection. A picture of that painting, as well as her prize winning and seminal work, "The East-West Room" can be seen in the "Painting Gallery" pages of this site.

    Publications and Reviews

    Myrna's work has been reproduced in many exhibition catalogs and has been reviewed in numerous newspapers, on radio and public television. Feature articles have appeared in THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER ARTS Section (see article below) and its Sunday MAGAZINE, in publications such as Britain's HALI, The International Journal of Oriental Carpets and Textiles, ORIENTAL RUG REVIEW, and Philadelphia arts magazines' FREELANCE MONITOR and ARTS EXCHANGE.

     

    Two of Myrna's creations were tied for first place in the annual Art show at Watermark Retirement Communities. Her polished bronzes "Mirrors in the Sky" and "All Ways," were featured in its award-winning national calendar Expressions 2017. A photo of the picture used is shown in the Memorabilia Section below.

     

    She was featured in two articles in March 2018, one in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and one in the Temple University News. You can read the Inquirer presentation by clicking HERE. The Temple University article appears in the "Memorabilia" section below.This article has some fine photos of Myrna's exciting Watermark Gallery so please be patient until it loads.

    Collections

    Among the more than 50 private, public and corporate collections throughout the United States that include Myrna Bloom works are Continental Computers, Temple University, Jerrehian Brothers, and Biggs Museum of American Art. Watermark Retirement Communities of Logan Square added five of Myrna's unique glicées and glicée collages to its permanent collection in 2018. (see below.)

  • INSTALLATIONS

    Plaque on Myrnas wall
  • MEMORABILIA

    THE HAZLETT MEMORIAL AWARD

    The Hazlett Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts in Pennsylvania was awarded by the Commonwealth to its sons and daughters who had achieved world-wide status in the various arts. The Award given to each recipient was a replica of Myrna Bloom's polished bronze "BALANCE."

    Myrna with Mrs. and Governor THornburgh

     

    Myrna flanked by Mrs. and Governor Richard Thornburgh.

     

    A partial list of awardees of Myrna's sculpture:

    News article about Myrna Bloom

    Featured News Article

    Photos and text from an extensive review in HALI, the Magazine of Oriental Rugs, Textiles and Islamic Art.

    News article about Myrna Bloom

    Myrna wearing the antique Chinese robe that she is depicting here in her oil painting "WINDOWS ON MY WORLD."

     Her polished bronzes "Mirrors in the Sky" and "All Ways," were featured in an award-winning national calendar "Expressions 2017."

    Myrna's polished bronzes "MIRRORS IN THE SKY" and "ALL WAYS" were featured in the national calendar "Expressions 2017."

    The Temple News article is printed in its entirety below.

    Living with relics of the past

     

    Myrna Bloom, 79, has turned her high-rise Center City apartment into an open-by-appointment art gallery

     

    by CLAIRE BRENNAN for The Temple News

     

     

    In Myrna Bloom’s one-bedroom apartment, she hangs paintings that tell the story of her life.

     

    Every morning, Bloom, a 79-year-old painter and sculpture artist, fight the isolation that comes with living alone in the later years of her life, with relics of her past: 157 paintings and prints.

     

    These works include a portrait of her mother and a painting of chairs, made up of Bloom’s written thoughts.

    “I like seeing my work,” Bloom said. “it’s me, it’s all part of me and that’s comforting.”

     

    Last December, Bloom, a 1972 painting and sculpture alumna, opened her apartment at The Watermark at Logan Square to the public as a gallery by appointment through her email. Bloom lives on the 24th floor of the Watermark, an independent retirement community in Center City.

     

    After starting with a couple gallery showings on the fourth floor of her apartment building, which was open to the public, she moved her work into her own apartment permanently earlier this year. This was partly because she wasn’t allowed to show her sculptures in the apartment building’s space, as it’s a hazard to transport and display them.


    “It’s a lot of work schlepping, taking down everything and putting everything back,” Bloom said. “I thought, ‘Let me see if I can get everybody up here.’”

    Every wall is covered in her print, acrylic and oil works. Since then, her gallery has become a full-time gig, and many of her sculptures and paintings are available for purchase.

     

    Although retired, she finds time to show her gallery to all those who inquire to see her work, any day of the week, as long as she’s home.

     

    Bloom has lived in the Philadelphia area for the majority of her life, only leaving her home in Dresher, Pennsylvania, for Boca Raton, Florida, with her late second husband, Richard Marcus, in 2009. She moved back to Philadelphia in 2014.

     

    Moving the gallery to Bloom’s apartment has made way for some serious organizing and change in her life, she said. By playing the role of the artist, museum guide and curator, Bloom must also make sure to label, organize and redo her guide every time something sells or she creates something new.

     

    In the apartment, all of the artwork has its place, ordered by theme, importance and other qualifiers – like how the light hits the canvas.


     

    claire.brennan@temple.edu

    “The light is so important,” Bloom said. “The sky is my favorite part of nature. I get to see the sunrise [out] of this window every morning which is glorious. The way the light hits everything affects it dramatically.”

     

    Bloom said the functionality of a one-bedroom apartment that doubles as a gallery is questionable, but it’s worth it to her because most of her work is about her own personal narrative.

     

    “Sometimes it’s very tiring … [with] running around, cleaning up, doing the dishes,” Bloom added. “But [the visitor’s] response is so wonderful, and that’s thrilling for me. I get tired, it’s tiring, but it’s very happy.”

    While Bloom has received fewer inquiries to see her work since opening up her home in December, she has a steady stream of five to 10 visitors per week.

     

    Bloom didn’t start her formal art education until later in life. After her two sons were born, she started going to painting classes in the evening and quickly saw art as a professional career option. She started studying at Tyler School of Art in 1968.

    Bloom has only ever worked in the art world. For 25 years, she worked on her craft and sold books about oriental rugs.

     

    After graduating, she spent eight years at the Barnes Foundation, an art museum then located in Merion, Pennsylvania, taking a seminar and eventually presenting a lecture on oriental rugs.

     

    Rina Malerman, a 1953 printing, sculpture and painting alumna, met Bloom while they were both studying at the Barnes Foundation.“Myrna was very intense, very focused, a wonderful artist and a good student,” she said.

     

    Although the seminar Malerman and Bloom took was not collaborative, the two worked closely oudside classes.

    “When we visited alone, together, we would discuss the paintings and talk about what we learned,” Malerman said.

    Rina and her husband, Newt Malerman, a 1953 sculpture alumnus, continue to support Bloom. Newt Malerman designed Bloom’s website and the couple bought one of Bloom’s sculptures.

    Bloom pops up in her own work as much as the pieces of her life. A massive, circular canvas hangs above her bed of an inversely colored, pixelated portrait of a younger, red-headed Bloom.

    A favorite painting among Bloom’s visitors, “The East-West Room” hangs next to her television. The painting depicts Bloom’s well-decorated living room in her former home in Dresher. Out of all her paintings, she said she most associates herself with that one.

    “It took me over 600 hours to paint, so I better love it,” Bloom said. “It was two and a half years of steady work because of the details in the rug.”

    The only time she really strayed from the art world was when she needed to take care of her late second husband, Marcus.

    “There were years where I couldn’t do art,” Bloom said. “My husband got dementia, which took up a lot of time. But I’m back and I’m happy. “I hope I can do this for a while, as long as my health holds up,” she added.

     

    claire.brennan@temple.edu

  • HISTORIC PHOTOS

    Outdoor Installation

    An outdoor installation of her sculpture "C SHARP SOARING FROM THE STEPS OF THE PODIUM" In this photo you can get an idea of the large scale in which she sometimes works.

     Featured Artist

    A show at Woodmere Art Museum, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.

  • Paley Collection

    A solo exhibition at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, now Philadelphia University.

    Rug and Costume Collector

    Myrna wearing a few of her many textile treasures.

  • Myrna has never been afraid to tackle even the toughest of media. Here she is in the welding shop with "ROLLER COASTER" in the foreground.

    Myrna's iconic painting "THE EAST-WEST ROOM" - here in process - has won several prestigious awards.

  • Shop Now

    Prices are quoted without shipping, which is billed separately. Overseas shipping must be crated and you assume payment of duties. If you can pick up your purchase in Philadelphia, you will avoid shipping costs.

     

    Myrna's Gallery is home to all available work. Use the "Say Hello to Myrna" page to make an appointment to see it or email "myrnabloom@comcast.net"

     

    Order directly: Note that internet addresses in this section begin with "https." The "s" shows that the connection is secure, and safe to use for purchases. Pay by check, or through PayPal.Me/MyrnaBloom.

     

    Click on the image for medium, size, and Myrna's memories and comments about each piece (under "MORE DETAILS"). Also refer to "Myrna's Musings" for her overview of her two-dimensional and three-dimensional work.

     

    Please note: "Out of Stock" indicates "SOLD"

  • Sculpture

    After opening each image, click on the thumbnail shots to enlarge additional positions. A thumbnail image of Myrna's print "Instrumental Machine" indicates a piece that was inspired by her print. The parts and approximate mounted positions of the bronzes are highlighted in blue.

  • Giclées and Photos

  • One-of-a-Kind Prints

    "Some think these are photographs, others ask with incredulity how I make them. I can't tell all, mostly because I won’t remember, but here is a synopsis, and some prints are explained in more detail: First I lay out the objects I am using on the table of the copier - laser or jet machine - in my chosen positions. Then I push the Print button and work quickly, usually with both hands, moving objects around as desired, sometimes adding a mirror to the mix. Most of the prints are titled quickly once completed, usually from my first impression on looking at them." Myrna

  • Say Hello to Myrna

    She'd love to hear from you, and will respond (be sure to include your name, address, and phone number). If you are in the Philadelphia area, Myrna's Gallery welcomes you to visit and see her work, by appointment. If your browser does not recognize and open your email program, here is her direct email address: myrnabloom@comcast.net