blum interiorCollege of the Atlantic's Ethel H. Blum Gallery offers COA students, along with the larger Downeast Maine community, the opportunity to view a wide range of artwork ranging from classical to contemporary.

The gallery's purpose is to delight, inspire and challenge through the fundamental insights and wide-ranging connections that makes art an essential expression of human ecology. There are ten to twelve exhibits each year featuring work from faculty, students, alumni and artists from around the world.

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The Ethel H. Blum Gallery was dedicated in 1993 to Ethel H. Blum (1900–1991), an accomplished watercolorist who studied at the Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and exhibited widely in her lifetime. A longtime summer resident of MDI, she took special pleasure in painting Maine coast views.

Ethel Halsey Blum

ethel blum portraitBorn in Montreal, Canada, Ethel Halsey Blum (1900–1991) was raised in New Orleans and graduated from Wellesley College. She worked as a newspaper reporter for the New Orleans Item before heading to Europe, where she reported on society and sports for The Paris Herald (now the International Herald Tribune) during the 1920s. She later wrote for the New York Bureau of the Associated Press, where she received the first byline credit given to a woman in that agency. During World War II, Mrs. Blum chaired the Brooklyn chapter of Bundles for Britain and was a member of the Mayor's Committee on Civilian Defense. In 1944, she became chairman of the Brooklyn Prisoner of War Packaging Center, one of five Red Cross groups that shipped over two million food packages to American prisoners of war in Europe and the Far East. (Photo by Bradford Bachrach.)

Mrs. Blum social engagement continued after the war. In 1952 she was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. A founding member of the Brooklyn committee for Planned Parenthood and a patron of a number of arts-related organizations in New York City, Mrs. Blum was also active on Mount Desert Island. She served on the Acadia National Park committee, the Mount Desert Island Hospital board of trustees, the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, and the Mount Desert Island highway safety council, which she founded. After her husband, Robert E. Blum, joined College of the Atlantic's board of trustees in 1973, Mrs. Blum often attended college and board functions with her husband.

A student at the Art Students League in New York City and the Brooklyn Academy in the 1930s and 1940s, Mrs. Blum organized and headed an art students' committee, which evolved into the Brooklyn Museum Art School. She later studied under the late Eliot O'Hara and the late Edgar A. Whitney. She exhibited her watercolors widely in her lifetime, with shows in the Bahamas, New York City and throughout New England. She was particularly active as a painter during the last thirty years of her life. Among other venues, her watercolors were shown at the National Academy (with the American Watercolor Society) and at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Hours and Contact Info

Ethel H. Blum Gallery

105 Eden Street

Bar Harbor, ME 04609


Monday through Saturday,
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Summer Hours
(July & August): Monday through Saturday,
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

How To Find Us

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The Ethel H. Blum Gallery is located on the second floor of the Gates Community Center, directly above the McCormick Lecture Hall.

For a full campus map click here. The Blum Gallery is #7.

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