The popular Boston (USA) Artist Edna Hibel known for her sentimental paintings of children has died in Palm Beach Florida age 97. Hibel painted in a style which paid homage to Mary Cassatt, the American Impressionist 1844-1926. Her work was always a bit out of step to be considered ‘modern’ and bordered on the kitsch, but it was accomplished and she was a strong colourist.
Born in 1917 to Abraham and Lena Hibel of Boston, Massachusetts, Ednal grew up in the Boston area. She was educated at Brookline High School where she met her future husband, Theodore Plotkin. She spent many summers at the seaside in Hull, Massachusetts and in Maine where she studied watercolour painting. Edna attended the Boston Museum School graduating in 1939. She continued as a graduate student and in 1942, was honoured with the Sturtevant Traveling Fellowship to Mexico.
In addition to numerous artistic awards, Hibel received a number of humanitarian honors for her more than half a century in raising donations with her work for children’s and medical charities. She also used her humanistic and compassionate work to bring peace through cultural understanding between China and the United States, Yugoslavia and the United States and Russia and the United States with her “Golden Bridge” and ” Peace Through Wisdom” exhibits in those countries.” Hibel’s Russian Palette” was developed during her trips to St. Petersburg. She was recognised for her compassion and understanding long before her travels to communist countries. She received several honorary doctorate degrees including from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.
For many years Hibel had a Gallery in Newbury Street in Boston, in the seaside resort of Rockport Massachusetts, as well as a Museum founded in 1977 in Palm Beach, which relocated to Florida Atlantic University’s Jupiter campus. The museum has over 2,000 original paintings, sculptures and porcelain works.