For over 40 years, Edna Hibel has been referred to as America's best loved and most versatile artist, and best colorist. Since being commissioned by the Foundation of the U.S. National Archives in 1995 to commemorate 75 years of women receiving the universal right to vote, Hibel is now acclaimed the "Heart and Conscience of America." when Ms. Lucy Baines Johnson, of the U.S. National Archives described her as such.
Born in 1917 to Abraham and Lena Hibel of Boston, Massachusetts, Miss Hibel 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 shore in Hull, Massachusetts and in Maine studying watercolor painting. She began painting at the age of 9 in elementary school. In addition to art, Miss Hibel was very proficient in tennis and she had a wide circle of friends many with whom she still stays current by telephone.
Edna Hibel was educated at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, from 1935-39, and was a special graduate student later. In 1942, she was honored with the Sturtevant Traveling Fellowship to Mexico.
Edna began "pulling" stone lithographs in 1966 in Boston and then moved to work in a fourth generation 'atelier" in Zurich in 1970 and she still works in Switzerland. Lithography is a drawing medium and it is especially suited to her draftsmanship and exquisite control over "the line." She innovated in creating works with up to 32 stones (or colors) on paper, silk, wood veneer and encouraged her porcelain manufacturers to allow her to create color separations with stone lithography which were transferred in a "secret" complicated process onto Bavarian hard paste porcelain. These works are now called lithographs on porcelain. Ms. Hibel has created the "Arte Ovale" series, and various plaques with this technique. With both lithographs on paper and on other materials, she often segments her editions of lithographs by colors, papers or the use of gold.
Today Edna paints each day in her studio at home beginning early in the morning and hand enhances her original stone lithographs, serigraphs and giclee with pastels, oil paint, gold leaf, pencil, ink, conte crayon and charcoal. She travels for special exhibits to promote the Hibel Museum of Art and to join the Edna Hibel Society on overseas trips. She brings home new creations from almost every trip. She normally works in oil paint. However, she is also working in watercolors again on a limited basis since she had mastered the techniques as a young person.
The work of Edna Hibel has been exhibited in prestigious museums and galleries in more than 20 countries on four continents including national museums in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Russia and the U.S.A., 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. Hibel received medals of honor from His Eminence Pope John Paul II and the late Belgian King Baudouin, and has received five honorary Doctorate degrees including her most recent from Eureka College, the alma mater of President Ronald Regan and Northwood University of Florida, Michigan and Texas. She is scheduled to receive her sixth honorary degree from Simmons College, Boston in May, 2005.
In addition to her numerous artistic awards, Edna Hibel has received many humanitarian honors for her more than one half century in raising donations with her work for children's and medical charities. She has 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.