Am. b. 1947
(Right - Detail from Joel Babb's "Copley Plunge")
Joel Babb is an exceptional contemporary realistic painter with numerous ties to Maine. A graduate of Princeton University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, he had his first solo show at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. HIs monumental work, Copley Plunge, which is shown to the right, was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2017. In 2021 Gulf Hagas (also shown to the right) became part of the Portland Museum of Art's permanent collection and is currently on display. Here is the link to the press release in Art Daily. In 2023 the Farnsworth Art Museum acquired Joel's Bernd's Brook, Autumn which is included in the museum's current major exhibition, "The Farnsworth at 75."
His work was the subject of a 2012 book, "Nature and Culture: The Art of Joel Babb" by Carl Little, introduction by Chris Crossman, contributions by Anita Shreve and Bernd Heinrich. University Press of New England. (hereinafter "The Art of Joel Babb"). The following two quotations illustrate the quality of his work. "With his images of Boston, Babb takes his place alongside his contemporaries Richard Estes, Rackstraw Downes, and a handful of other as one of the foremost city painters of his time." - Carl Little. Michael Culver, Director of the Naples Museum of Art - ". . .his large, meticulously rendered scenes evoke a silence, grandeur and spirituality in the manner of great American landscapists such as Albert Bierstadt and Asher B. Durand."
For more information about Joel, check out this recent article from the Maine Sunday Telegram or his biography. Joel's painting "Church and State Boston from the Harvard Club" was featured in the February 2020 edition of American Art Collector magazine. Also see Joel's essay in the Spring 2020 edition of the Maine Arts Journal.
For images of some of Joel Babb's paintings in museum collections, click on the links below.
Harvard Art Museum - portraits and drawing
Joel's work was exhibited at the Lewis Arts Complex at Princeton University in recognition of his graduating 50 years ago in May, 1969!
Sunset on the River
36 x 44 in. Oil on linen signed "J.M. Babb" l.l. Provenance the artist to the current owner Price on request The complete title of this painting is "Sunset on the Nezinscot River Maine"
45 x 64.175 in. Oil on linen signed "J.M. Babb, 2011 l.r. This painting was acquired by the Portland Museum of Art in 2021.
House in Hull
14.5 x 21.5 in. Watercolor signed & titled "House in Hull Massachusetts. Late Afternoon J.M. Babb 1979" l.l. Provenance the artist to the current owner Price: please inquire. This was the view from Joel's studio window in Hull looking toward the ocean.
Untitled (harbor scene)
7.5 x 10.5 in. Oil on masonite signed "J.M. Babb" l.l. Provenance the artist to the current owner SOLD This is a study of afternoon light looking toward Boston from Hull.
80 x 62 in. Oil on linen signed "J.M. Babb, 1990" l.r. This painting was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2017.
Study for Toll Dam
2001 15 x 20 in. Oil on panel signed "J.M. Babb" l.l. Provenance a southern Maine collector Illustrated: Catalogue for "Intimate Wilderness: Maine Landscapes by Joel Babb" SOLD