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Edna Plotkin

 (1917 - 2015)
Edna (Hibel) Plotkin was active/lived in Massachusetts, Florida.  Edna Plotkin is known for mother and child figure painting, lithographs, ink and crayon drawing.

Edna Plotkin

Biography from the Archives of askART

Edna Hibel, a painter of sentimental pictures of children, has had a more than 60-year career as painter and lithographer and promoter of peace through exhibitions of her artwork.

She was born in 1917 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her parents were Abraham and Lena Hibel, and she was raised in the Boston area and educated at Brookline High School where she met her future husband, Theodore Plotkin.

She began to paint when she was nine years old and learned watercolor during summers at the shore where her family vacationed in Maine and Hull, Massachusetts.

Hibel studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, from 1935-39, receiving a Sturtevant Traveling Fellowship to Mexico. In Boston, in 1966, she began lithography, continuing in 1970 in Zurich, where she still works every year. She has created lithographic works with up to 32 stones (or colors) on paper, silk, wood veneer and porcelain. The latter pieces are called lithographs on porcelain and result from a complicated process, that she keeps a secret, whereby she transfers stone lithographic color separations onto Bavarian hard paste porcelain. Hibel has created the "Arte Ovale" series and various plaques with this technique.

She organized the Edna Hibel Museum of Art, in Jupiter, Florida, to display and promote her work and also created a United Nations stamp, "Mother Earth."

In 1995, she was commissioned by the Foundation of the U.S. National Archives to commemorate the 75th anniversary of women receiving the universal right to vote. At the ceremony, Ms. Lucy Baines Johnson referred to Hibel as the "Heart and Conscience of America."

In November, 2001, the World Cultural Council based in Mexico City gave her the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts.

Hibel's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in more than 20 countries including Russia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, and the United States, and under the royal patronage of Count and Countess Bernadotte of Germany, Count Thor Bonde of Sweden, Prince and the late Princess Rainier of Monaco and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England.

Pope John Paul II gave her a medal of honor as did the late Belgian King Baudouin. She also received honorary Doctoral degrees including from Eureka College, and Northwood University of Florida, Michigan and Texas. She also has received many humanitarian honors for her charitable efforts for children's and medical charities.

Her exhibitions "Golden Bridge" and " Peace Through Wisdom" were efforts to promote peace and cultural understanding between China, the United States, Yugoslavia and Russia, and a television documentary titled "Hibel's Russian Palette" was based on her trips and art shows in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. In 2001, Edna received a Lifetime Achievement Award from "Women in the Visual Arts," an organization of artists in the South Florida area.

Today (2003) from her home and studio in Riviera Beach, Florida, Hibel continues to paint in oil and watercolor and also hand enhances her original stone lithographs, serigraphs and giclee with pastels, oil paint, gold leaf, pencil, ink, conte crayon and charcoal.


Biography from the Archives of askART
The following obituary of Edna Hibel Plotkin was submitted by Michael Ditizio of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By Hannah Winston
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Artist Edna Hibel Plotkin, famous for her Mother and Children series of paintings, died Friday in Palm Beach Gardens.

She was 97, said her son, Andy Plotkin, of Palm Beach Gardens. He said his mother's presence will be missed by many people, but her art and charity touched so many as well.

"She loved to paint people close to the earth," he said. The Hibel Museum of Art, founded in 1977 in Palm Beach and now housed on Florida Atlantic University's Jupiter campus, has more than 2,000 original paintings, sculptures and porcelain works.

The museum stayed in Palm Beach until 1999 when the Edna Hibel Art Foundation sold the building at 150 Royal Poinciana Plaza for $1.94 million to the plaza's owners. The museum moved that year to Lake Worth. In June 2002, the museum moved to Florida Atlanta University.

Mrs. Plotkin, who grew up in Boston and raised her children there, made Palm Beach County her home for more than 45 years. She lived and worked in the Singer Island home she shared with her husband, Theodore Plotkin, who died in 2012.

Andy Plotkin said his mother got her start in painting because of a math teacher. Because she was so good at math, she would be done well before the rest of the class, frustrating her teacher. "The teacher told her, 'Wouldn't you like to paint, Edna?'" he said.

The teacher handed her some paper, brushes, watercolor paints and an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, and she painted a remarkable likeness of the magazine cover.

"She said she must have walked around with a pencil and paintbrush in hand after that," her son said.

Mrs. Plotkin graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1939 and studied in Mexico on a fellowship. When she returned to Boston at the age of 23, she was one of the youngest artists at the time to have a piece of her work bought by a major American museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, her son said.

She traveled the world with her husband and three sons, having her art shown in more than 20 countries across four continents.

Though her paintings and lithography ranged from landscapes to portraits, she is most famous for her Mother and Children paintings, which have been compared with Mary Cassatt's work and other Impressionist art.

She leaves her sons, Andy, Richard and Jon, and their wives, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A memorial will be held in January.

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About  Edna Plotkin

Born:  1917 - Boston, Massachusetts
Died:   2015 - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Known for:  mother and child figure painting, lithographs, ink and crayon drawing