Scope and arrangement
The Stella Bloch Papers span the years 1907-1999 and include correspondence, writings, personal papers, and photographs.
The collection is important in its documentation of Bloch’s career as both a performer and an artist. Especially interesting is her professional and personal relationship with director George Cukor and photographer Mortimer Offner.
The most personal material is in the correspondence between Bloch and her immediate and extended families. Of significance is the correspondence between the Eliscu’s and the Lehac’s (Ned and Jane Sherman). The Lehac’s were close friends and the wide-ranging correspondence between the two couples reflect concerns about schooling their children, finding work during the Red Scare of the 1950s, and later careers including reviving dances from the pioneers of the modern dance (Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis). The correspondence between Stella and Edward and their children, David and Peter, begins while the boys were in early teens and continues through their early middle age.
Missing from the collection is information about Bloch’s career as a film script writer and her first marriage.
The Stella Bloch papers are arranged in five series:
- 1907 - 199715 boxes
This series contains correspondence, primarily from family members, including husband Edward, sons David and Peter and their children, Jed, Jenny and Michael. There is also extensive correspondence with extended family members including cousins Mortimer Offner, Olga Offner, Edna Leopold and Olga Auerbach. Also included are letters from friends Ned and Jane (Sherman) Lehac.
- 1950 - 19949 boxes
This series includes notebooks, note cards and notes created and used by Stella Bloch. There are also unpublished scripts, skits and stories, including preliminary drafts of a book about the life of Isadora Duncan. Where possible the notebooks are titled with what was written on the cover in the author’s handwriting, few are dated. The remainder of the notebooks have been numbered by the archivist.
- 1907 - 19998 boxes
This series includes personal papers of Stella Bloch. The largest sections of this series are the calendars-yearbook diaries describing daily events. There are also clippings from magazines and newspapers, divorce papers from her first marriage, material about associations and membership, information about her art exhibits through the years and programs from several Isadora Duncan performances ca. 1919.
- 1919 - 19901 box
This series contains photographs, snapshots, slides, and negatives. The photographs are mostly publicity stills and portraits taken by Mortimer Offner. The snapshots are mostly of a personal nature, including times with family and friends.
- 1915 - 19971 box
This series contains oversized material, including artwork, clippings and posters from art exhibitions. Of special interest is a handwritten family tree of the Offner clan from Poland in the 1800s to present day United States. It was dictated by Stella Bloch.