VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Fine Arts Gallery will host Karl Zerbe: Civil Right Feb. 16 through March 6.
Born in Germany in 1903, Zerbe was an expressionist figurative painter who quickly became recognized as a major new artist. His first exhibitions in Munich and Berlin attracted immediate attention, and his rise in popularity led to representation in some of the finest museums in his country.
Then Adolf Hitler rose to power.
Zerbe’s paintings were among those destroyed as cultural bolshevism as the Third Reich denounced modernism in the arts. Fleeing Nazi persecution, he escaped to the United States in 1934, at the age of 31, making a home in Boston, Mass., where he painted, taught, became a U.S. citizen, and contributed to the revival of encaustic, a hot wax method of painting. He joined a group of artists living and working in the Boston area from the 1930s to the 1950s who