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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 16, April 20, 2008, Article 8

SCULPTOR AND MEDAL COLLECTOR KAHLIL GIBRAN DIES

[Dick Johnson submitted the following note about sculptor
and medal collector Kahlil Gibran. -Editor]

Kahlil Gibran, a painter, sculptor, and collector of Renaissance
medals died last Sunday (April 13, 2008).  If his name sounds
familiar you may be thinking of his cousin, the Syrian poet,
author and mystic (1883-1931) for whom the current artist was
named.  His cousin wrote 'The Prophet' which sold a million
copies early in the 20th century when such a feat was notable.

Kahlil (born 1922) lived his entire life in South End of Boston
and infrequently attended Boston coin shows. That is where I
last met him. We conversed over the years and he often invited
me to come see his collection. Since he had nothing he wanted
to sell I politely declined. Now I wish I had, even if I had
not been able to purchase anything from him.

Like his cousin, he was a painter early in his career, but
unlike his cousin he abandoned it for sculpture. 'Painting
didn't demand enough of me,' he often claimed. As a sculptor
he won dozens of awards and many accolades for his works. His
'Tripod' is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Also as a sculptor he turned to collecting Renaissance medals
for their patinas, sculptural and tactile charm. He would often
apply sculpture techniques for preserving the patina on these
early medals. One method was a turpentine application. I wouldn't
recommend this but he swore by it. In 1977 he created his
medallic self-portrait, and earlier, in 1969, he created a
half dozen medallic reliefs.

He and his wife, Jean English Gibran, wrote a biography of the
elder Kahlil Gibran. It was published in 1974.

[Below are excerpts from a Boston Globe obituary of Kahlil
Gibran. -Editor]

Sculptor and painter, inventor and writer, Kahlil Gibran
nourished creativity since he was old enough to mold clay
with his hands, sometimes selling for pennies the tiny
animals he fashioned while sitting on a curb in the South
End when he was only 4.

"I believe talent is a grace," he told the Globe in 1967.
"You don't deny it, you don't affirm it. But if you don't
work at it, you can lose it. The only sin is in squandering
talent."

Internationally honored for his work, Mr. Gibran was at
home in many disciplines. From Copley Square to the South
End and Jamaica Plain, his outdoor sculptures trace a map
of Boston's neighborhoods. A tripod he designed is part of
the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New
York City. His paintings, drawings, and sculptures are in
galleries, museums, and private collections across the country.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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