Love Made Visible
by Jean Gibran
Jean Gibran’s Love Made Visible is the moving story of a marriage, of Boston’s South End, and the Boston Expressionist art scene that first flourished there in the 1930s and ‘40s. A teacher in the Boston public schools, she was for fifty years married to Kahlil Gibran, sculptor and artisan, and cousin of the noted poet Gibran Kahlil Gibran. She reflects lucidly on her role as spouse of a gifted artist in the decades spanning the 1950s to 2008. In retracing the course of her at times stormy marriage, she reflects on tests and joys of embracing another culture in a relationship, raising a child in the household of a working artist, and enabling her husband’s prolific work as a sculptor and craftsman. At the same time, she recalls to life forgotten, underappreciated artists of the Boston School and decades of artistic ferment that found a welcome home in the South End. Constant throughout this diary is her perseverance in the face of loss and bereavement, comforted by an enduring sense of place. Like the “mostly happy marriage” and the fiercely local and independent artistic movement to which she pays homage, Gibran’s idiosyncratic memoir confronts the costs—and reaffirms the value—of creative commitment, in art and in life.