Living In Iowa remembers the late Isabel Bloom, a Davenport artist whose creations are cherished by generations. Bloom studied under Grant Wood, married an accomplished artist, produced an art-based children’s TV show, ran her own business, and became a permanent symbol of the Quad City area.
Bloom's original education was in dressmaking and design. In 1932, she attended Grant Wood’s Stone City art colony, where she studied painting, composition and sculpture. She developed her craft in her spare time while teaching art. The sale of concrete reproductions of her sculptures led to her career as businesswoman, and by the early 60’s she had outgrown her basement workspace. The first Isabel Bloom studio was rented in an abandoned ice cream factory.
A lifetime spent experimenting with materials and techniques resulted in a business that manufactures and sells thousands of reproductions of her sculpture each year.
By the time Isabel sold the business in 1981, she had gone from mixing her own cement with a shovel to employing four full-time artists to assist in the labor-intensive process.
She continued to add sculptures to the catalog into her late 80’s, and gave input on new work until her death in 2001 at the age of 93.