In memoriam: Jon Imber (1950-2014)

Jon Imber

See the trailer for the documentary film about Imber's life and career "Jon Imber’s Left Hand," here.

Boston artist Jon Imber (b. 1950 Baldwin, NY, d. 2014), whose style began as figurative and representative but evolved over the course of his career to include landscape and abstraction, taught figure drawing at Harvard through the Office for the Arts at Harvard for 26 years, from 1986-2012. In his weekly course held at the Currier House Art Studio, he emphasized the development of students' personal expression. Working primarily from models, students from all levels of experience benefitted from Jon's attentiveness as well as from individual and group critiques.

Imber received an MFA from Boston University, and a BFA from Cornell University. Over the course of Imber's substantial career, his work went through much development and change. Influences ranged from Hartley, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Beckman and of course Philip Guston with whom he studied at Boston University. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, DeCordova Museum, the Fogg Museum, Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, Bowdoin College, and the Currier Gallery in Manchester, NH. He has shown at Neilsen Gallery, Brown University, and Clark University. Awards include an NEA Grant, AVA (National Award funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Equitable Insurance Corporation, and the NEA), Massachusetts Council for the Arts Award, and an Engelhard Award. Imber taught at Harvard and at the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been included in many publications including Paintings of Maine: A New Selection by Carl Little, Boston ModernFigurative Expressionism As Alternative Modernism by Judith Bookbinder. He lived in both Somerville, MA, and Stoningham, ME. He died in April 2014 from complications from ALS.


Jon Imber: Carry On, exhibit, Danforth Art Museum, through May 18, 2014

"Jon Imber, 63; artist kept painting with exuberance in face of ALS" Boston Globe, April 25, 2014

"Jon Imber Remembered as Attentive Teacher, Energetic Artist" Harvard Crimson, April 24, 2014

"In portrait of late artist Jon Imber, life and love endure" about the documentary film about Imber's life and career "Jon Imber’s Left Hand," in the Boston Globe, Apri 23, 2014

"Jon Imber, renowned painter and Maine resident, dies at 63" Portland Press Herald, April 19, 2014

"Maine Painter In New Documentary Dies After Struggle With ALS" The Artery, WBUR, April 19, 2014

"Jon Imber and Jill Hoy: Finding Bedrock" Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors, Issue 128, February/March 2014

"Battling ALS, Maine artist learning to paint anew" Portland Press Herald, December 1, 2013