2008 Honorees

Hibel

Edna Hibel

b.1917 
Colorist, painter, stone lithographer, serigrapher, etcher, sculptress, and filmmaker

Born in MA, in 1917, the internationally renowned artist Edna Hibel, has been painting for over seventy years.  Hibel’s talent was developed under the direction of noted portraitist Gregory Michaels. Edna then studied with the renowned Russian and German masters, Alexander Yakovlev and Karl Zerbe, at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts.  Completing her training at the Museum School in 1939, Hibel was awarded the Ruth B. Sturtevant Traveling Fellowship for study in Mexico. 

In 1940, the Boston Museum of fine Arts purchase one of her painting for its permanent collection, making Edna the youngest artist at the time so honored by a major American museum.  Hibel later returned to the Boston Museum School for graduate study in the art and techniques of the Renaissance, and to absorb the discipline of the masters.

Hibel uses many media, including fresco, on a wide variety of surfaces such as canvas, wood, silk, shells, plaster, Japanese rice paper, and cameo paper, often working with oil glazes and gold leaf.  In terms of subject matter, Hibel’s thousands of followers know her sensitive portrayals of mothers and children from all cultures.

Edna Hibel also enjoys experimenting in lithography, serigraphy, sculpture, crystal, and porcelain.  Critics have compared Hibel’s style to that of the Italian Renaissance arts Leonardo de Vinci and the American Impressionist Mary Cassatt.

Over the post forty years, the artwork of Edna Hibel has met with growing critical and popular acclaim, as major museums and galleries in twenty countries on four continents have held numerous exhibitions of her work.  Her paintings are in the collection of many of America’s outstanding universities and public museums.

More recently, Edna Hibel’s artwork has been exhibited in prestigious museums, galleries, universities, and palaces in Austria, Belgium, Costa Rico, the People’s Republic of China, Israel, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, and the United States.  She is also the only foreign artist to twice exhibit her work in the Soviet Union, and the only foreign woman to produce a television documentary in that country.

Hibel has been married since 1940 to her high school sweetheart, Theodore Plotkin.  They have three sons and five grandchildren.  Edna now resides and paints in Florida, traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, each year to create original stone lithographs.

Edna Hibel is often referred to as America’s most beloved and versatile artist and best colorist.