Paul A. Bloser

Picture of a large framed Paul Bloser oil on canvas of the Carlisle Public Square ca 1840, done in 1934, part of the Hotel Argonne series. Signed and dated in the lower right corner.
Photo of a framed oil portrait of Jim Thorpe in football uniform by Paul Bloser in 1959.

Top: Large framed Paul Bloser oil on canvas of the Carlisle Public Square c. 1840, done in 1934 as part of the Hotel Argonne series. Signed and dated in the lower right corner (1973.010.002).

Bottom: Framed oil portrait of Jim Thorpe in football uniform by Paul Bloser in 1959 (1990.015.001).

Paul A. Bloser is thought to have been born in Bloserville, Frankford Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1891. He died in 1971, aged 70 years, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and was buried, in Collingswood, New Jersey. He studied art at the Industrial Arts School and the Chase School, Philadelphia.1

In 1934 he moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Bloser lived in the Argonne Hotel, 102 W. High St., Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was a professional artist who painted local scenes as murals or large oil paintings in the 1930s.  Bloser is most famous for the series of murals he painted for the Argonne Hotel (later named the James Wilson Hotel) in the 1930s. These included a portrait of Jim Thorpe, Fort Louther and Carlisle Public Square, which are now in the collection of Cumberland County Historical Society. 2

His murals were also in the Molly Pitcher Hotel in Carlisle, and still exist in the Bloser Room, Fairfield Hall at the Allenberry Resort, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. The murals and a map of Cumberland County were painted for Dr. Horace Sadler at his summer home, Allenberry Park. Another mural of a fire engine which may be the work of Bloser is located on the second floor of 38 W. Pomfret St., Carlisle, Pennsylvania, once the home of the Empire Hook and Ladder Company (in 2013 the Carlisle Arts Learning Center acquired the building).3

Bloser moved to Collingswood, New Jersey in 1939, painting in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas.

The Collection of CCHS includes 18 oil paintings on canvas and signed Paul A. Bloser, except when noted otherwise. Fourteen of the 18 are listed as follows:

1. 1973.010.001 Fort Louther, c. 1753, painted in1934 for the Argonne Hotel.

2. 1990.015.001 Portrait of Jim Thorpe in a football uniform, painted 1959.

3. 1973.010.002 Carlisle Public Square, c.1840; painted 1934 for Argonne Hotel.

4. 1992.019.001 Carlisle Market House and Bixler’s Hardware, Liberty Ave. for Argonne Hotel.

5. 1994.039.004 Portrait of Lewis Sadler.

6. 1999.027.001. Portrait of Wilbur F. Sadler 1840-1920, from photograph,1934.

7. 2000.036.001 Sailboat between mountains, possibly the Susquehanna River.

8. 2002.007.001 Molly Pitcher. Copied from a Collier’s Magazine illustration by Frank Reilly.

9. 2004.027.001 Carlisle Public Square 1765, signed Paul A. Bloser 1939.

10. 2004.027.002 Hessian Guard House 1777 PAB 1934

11. 2004.027.003 James Wilson Hotel 1769, stone ‘house’ in center, dirt roads.

12. 2004.056.001 Landscape of stone house and a lean-to shed on bank of creek.

13. 2005.028.001 Street scene: Carlisle Market House and Bixler’s Hardware.

14. 2005.056.003 Round wooden wall hanging from Molly Pitcher Hotel. Cutout figure in black and white on a metallic gold background.4

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References (Sources Available at CCHS in bold)

[1] Cumberland County Historical Society, Museum files.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. The Evening Sentinel, March 4, 2002

[4] Cumberland County Historical Society, Museum files

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