The gallery’s purpose is to delight, inspire and challenge, through unexpected insights and wide-ranging connections. There are ten to twelve exhibits each year featuring work from faculty, students, alumni and artists from around the world.
The Ethel H. Blum Gallery was dedicated in 1993 to Ethel H. Blum (1900–1991), an accomplished writer and 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.
In the 1930s,
Mrs. Blum 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.
In 1952, Mrs. Blum was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She was later a founding member of the Brooklyn committee for Planned Parenthood. Yes, she even founded the Mount Desert Island’s highway safety council.
As a writer, activist, philanthropist, and artist, Ethel Blum is a perfect exemplar of a life-long human ecologist.