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Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Boston, with Love

Karl Zerbe, Park Street, Boston, 1942
encaustic on canvas
The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
no copyright infringement intended

Karl Zerbe, a member of the first generation of Boston expressionists, painted this powerful work shortly after moving to the United States from his native Berlin. Zerbe’s piece captures the timeless strength of the city.

Boston is tough and sentimental, traditional and forward-looking, working-class and wealthy, parochial and global, warm and reserved, reform-minded and un-reformable, restrained and boisterous, superstitious and free-thinking, very new and very old .... This wondrous bundle of contradictions that happens to be a city is also the home of the marathon and the place where Patriots’ Day is sacred. And always will be.

Boston area was the first place I saw in America, and it was through the Bostonian universe that I started to understand the American way. Then I moved to NY and I tried to find a job there. That was tough. Then I found work in DC area, and I settled there. I moved after seven years back to Boston area, where my son and his family live. Some years ago my daughter-in-law ran at the marathon there. I am now far away, in Bucharest, while the streets of Boston remain very close to my heart, and I share his life and his ways.


(Phillips Collection)



  • We live about an hour west of Boston, but I can attest to the toughness and resilience of the people of Boston and of Massachusetts in general. So many people rushed to help the victims on Monday that it almost overshadows the hatefulness of the attack. That is a wonderful painting of Boston.

    By Blogger barbara l. hale, at 3:27 PM  

  • Thank you Barbara!

    By Blogger Pierre Radulescu, at 4:52 PM  

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