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Joel Babb

Born in the South, growing up in the Midwest, I studied Art History at Princeton. I got an MFA from the Boston Museum School, and during that time worked as a night watchman at the Museum—a perfect job for a learning artist. I taught realist painting for the Museum School, and courses for Harvard Extension part time for many years. Became known in Boston for cityscapes, aerial views especially. In 1975 began building a house and studio in Sumner Maine, and I began to paint the woods and coast of Maine.

After studying art history in college and spending some time in Rome, I realized that there was much beyond the abstract paintings I was doing which I wanted to learn to do. It felt like starting over to study anatomy, perspective, “old master” techniques, but this led in many new directions. I often thought of how whatever I liked in Canaletto’s cityscapes, and in Ruisdael’s landscapes could be done in a contemporary way. I use photograph, but also paint outside, because the eye sees light and color differently from the camera.


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