Art Brokerage: Karl Zerbe artist. Known as an expressionist painter, Karl Zerbe along with Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine, achieved national recognition in the 1940s as the first generation of Boston Expressionists. They produced work that was shockingly different from the genteel work of older established Boston artists, such as John Singer Sargent and Edmund C. Tarbell. Although the Boston Expressionists differed stylistically from one another, they were linked by their interest in humanism as they perceived it in their surroundings in Boston. Their work was the beginning of a long tradition of humanist expressive work in Boston. Karl Zerbe was born in Berlin, Germany in 1903 and fled political persecution to the United States during World War II. From 1937 to 1954, he was Head of the Painting Department at the Museum School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, and in this capacity introduced students to the work of the prominent German Expressionists. In 1954, Zerbe moved to Florida, and taught at Florida State University at Tallahassee from 1954 into the 1960s. He died in 1972 in Tallahassee.
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