Babb's success came from his extraordinarily realistic depictions of Boston, for which he is best known today, such as the painting Church and State, Boston from the Harvard Club.
More information about this painting...
Recalling how he came to paint this view, Joel wrote: “I’d heard from Marcia [Vose] that the downtown Harvard Club had dramatic views—although those views have been recently changed by the rise of new buildings nearby. I was able to take many photographs over a few hours which were the beginning of the new paintings. Working on Church and State I realized that the view as photographed, which was fabulously interesting to experience in person, when put down on the canvas needed changes to work better as a composition. Only one wing of the State House was visible, so I had to lop off ten stories of one building to show the gold dome, and move one building to the left, and leave out half of the Suffolk Law School building to show more of the Park Street Church. The painting becomes Church and State, the old foundations of the new commonwealth which has grown up around them over time.”
Collection of the artist
(top stretcher) Joel M. Babb / Church and State, 2018 / (Boston fr. The Harvard Club) / (no. 1)
Get Real: 50th Reunion Exhibition of Paintings, Lewis Art Complex, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, May 30 – June 2, 2019