Lucienne Bloch was born in 1909 in
Geneva Switzerland, and came to America with her family in 1917.
She was the youngest child of internationally famous composer and
photographer Ernest Bloch.
A multi-talented artist, Lucienne attended the Ecole National et
Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris at 14, apprenticing with sculptor
Antoine Bourdelle and painter Andre Lhote. Her close friend Benjamino
Bufano also influenced her sculpture. In 1929, she pioneered the
design of glass sculpture for the Royal Leerdam Glass Factory in
Holland. When Frank Lloyd Wright saw her glass works and spoke with
her in New York, he invited her to teach at his architectural school,
But Lucienne had just met and began her apprenticeship with Diego
Rivera on his frescoes in New York and Detroit. She formed a close
friendship with Diego's wife Frida Kahlo, and they became each others'
companion and confidant. In 1932 she accompanied Frida to Mexico
when her mother became ill. She was also with Frida in Detroit when
she had her miscarriage; Lucienne tried to cheer her up, in her
usual way, by comparing their ails to the size of the sun, or the
A prolific photographer, Lucienne contributed many photographs of
Rivera and Kahlo to biographical works about them. She took the
only existing photographs of Rivera's (controversially) destroyed
mural at Rockefeller Center Plaza in New York City.
Lucienne married one of Rivera's chief plasterers, Stephen Pope
Dimitroff. Together they created Fresco murals all over the United
States. From 1935 to 1939, she was employed by the WPA/FAP (Works
Progress Administration/Federal Arts Project). She also worked free-lance
as a photographer for Life Magazine, recording the desperate conditions
of autoworkers during the labor strikes and protests that occurred
throughout the U.S. during the formation of the automobile worker
Bloch mastered all types of media; photography, fresco, woodblock
cuts, lithographs, mosaics, egg tempera, watercolor, wood and glass
sculpture, terra cotta, portraits in ink, gesso, and oil. She also
illustrated numerous children's books. Lucienne created nearly 50
murals across the United States for religious institutions, schools,
hospitals, and businesses. She worked hand in hand, side by side
with her husband of nearly 65 years on all of these projects.
Lucienne Bloch passed away on March 13, 1999, on her small farm
in Northern California. Her granddaughter, Lucienne Allen, is finishing
the autobiography they had been working on together for nearly 10
years. Lucienne Bloch was an inspiration to many artists in her
lifetime and her artwork and photography continues to inspire everyday.