Skip to main content

Lou Block photograph collection

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1980_005-PA

Content Description

Approximately 1000 strips of 35 mm black and white negatives; 527 strips 120 mm, single 4 x 5 inch negatives; 5 rolls copy negatives; 1500 prints by Block and his students, mounted and unmounted, various sizes; mock-up, text, and copy prints for proposed book by Block; right angle Leica viewfinder that belonged to Ben Shahn; 55 prints by various photographers for the Fine Print Collection. Item count is approximate. Lou Block was a painter, photographer, muralist, and illustrator who worked with Diego Rivera on the murals for Rockefeller Center. He lived and worked in Louisville from 1951 to 1968, teaching painting and creative photography at the University of Louisville and the Art Center Association. His papers include correspondence with numerous book and journal publishers, officials in the National Youth Administration and Works Progress Administration, the Merchant Marine, United Seaman's Service, War Production Board, Citizens Committee for the Arts, Archives of American Art, and his friend Ben Shahn. Also present are articles by Block, along with illustrations and documentation on his mural designs, including a mural proposed at Riker's Island. The photograph collection includes photographs made in New York in the 1930s, including an Artist's Union strike in 1934, and studies for the Riker's Island murals. Later work includes Block's photographs made in Louisville, Mexico, New York City, and New Jersey. Block was at work on several book projects at the time of his death and the collection also contains his typescripts and notes on these.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply




3000 photographs (34 boxes)