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Biographical/Historical Information

Born in 1910 in Floss, Bavaria, David Ludwig Bloch lost his hearing as a child. He began to study porcelain painting in 1925, and was employed at this until 1934. He then began studies at the state school for applied painting in Munich. By this time the artist had already taken part in exhibitions of the "Jewish Culture Federation of Bavaria". Bloch became a commercial artist and decorator with the department store Sallinger in Straubing, but subsequently was fired for being Jewish. He was excluded from studies in Munich for the same reason. During Kristallnacht Bloch was arrested and imprisoned in Dachau for four weeks, after which he found work with the master painter Heinz Voges in Munich. In 1940 the artist emigrated to Shanghai, where he got married to Lilly Cheng Disiu, who was also deaf. Bloch moved to New York in 1949, and worked there for 26 years as a graphic artist. After a visit to Germany in 1976, the Holocaust became an intense focus of his art. A book published in 1997, titled "David Ludwig Bloch: Woodcuts. Shanghai 1940-1949," presents Bloch’s collected woodcuts created in the years of his exile in Shanghai. In 2000, he had a one-man retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Munich, Germany.

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Bloch, David Ludwig: Shanghai: Dying beggar, Leo Baeck Institute, 86.14.