Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.blocirvi
Creators:
Block, Irving
Dates:
1938-1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.62 Linear feet
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Biographical material, professional and personal correspondence, subject files, financial records, artwork, printed material and an audio cassette.
Scope and Contents
Biographical information includes a résumé and award. Business correspondence, 1964-1984, regards the opening of The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Block's teaching position at California State University, Northridge, and personal correspondence includes 5 illustrated letters by Block to his wife and two printed cards from Fritz Faiss. Subject files regard the WPA, 1938-1983, film animation, 1957-1976, and book illustration, 1978-1984. Financial records relate to Block's association with the Ankrum Gallery, 1936-1981. Photographs are of Block, his friends, family and works of art.
Scope and Contents
Artwork includes 2 sketches, 1962, and approximately 60 pencil figurative drawings and studies done during weekly life drawing sessions established by Block and Hans Burkhardt at the Studio Club on the MGM lot from the 1950s to mid-1970s (among them is a pastel by Burkhardt of Block drawing the nude model); and 16 drawings and one print and one poster, most of which were executed by Irving Block for Santa Susana Press, California State University, Northridge's 1986 broadside of John Updike's poem, A Pear Like a Potato. Printed material, 1941-1982, includes exhibition catalogs and clippings. An audio cassette contains Block's reminiscences of his friendship with Burkhardt and a recording of Block delivering a lecture to a senior seminar class on Walt Whitman.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Irving Block (1910-1986) was a painter and educator in Los Angeles, California. Block was born in New York City. He was involved in the Works Projects Administration's Federal Art Project in the 1930s, and worked as a matte shot artist at 20th Century Fox during the 1940s and 50s. He taught for many years at California State University, Northridge (1963-1980). Block co-authored with Alan Adler the original story for the science fiction film Forbidden Planet, for which he designed Robbie the Robot.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated 1984 by Block and in 1996 by Jill Block, the widow of Irving Block. Additional drawings, print and poster donated 2015 by Virginia Elwood-Akers, a former librarian at California State University, Northbridge who received the drawings from colleague Dean Norman Tanis, head of the Santa Susana Press.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Animation (Cinematography) -- California -- Los Angeles Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art and motion pictures Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Federal aid to the arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustration of books Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion picture industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion picture studios -- California -- Hollywood Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burkhardt, Hans Gustav, 1904-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Faiss, Fritz Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ankrum Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California State University, Northridge -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Works Progress Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/