WILKES-BARRE –The historical marker rededicated Wednesday on the River Commons bore a two-color scheme like many of the paintings of its subject, artist Franz Kline.
Except the city native’s most famous works were in black-and-white.
Kline, born in Wilkes-Barre on May 23, 1910, was part of the second generation of abstract expressionists. He died in 1962 in New York City.
He was known for his “action painting” of “bold emotionally charges brushstrokes and non-representational subjects,” according to the marker. Among his most notable works from the 1950s were “Luzerne,” “Lehigh” and “Pittston.”
He was influenced by the industrial development in the anthracite region.
After his father’s death in 1917 he was sent to a Philadelphia boarding school, where he underwent training for foundry work. He was reunited with his mother in Carbon County and attended Lehighton High School excelling in art.
He studied in Boston and traveled to England before returning to the United States and New York City.
His art evolved from realistic paintings to abstract works.
The original marker approved by the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission was placed along South River Street on Sept. 7, 2001. The marker with a blue background and raised letters painted gold was lost during the construction of the park and walkways along the levee system for the Susquehanna River.
The new location is between South and Northampton streets directly across from the Wilkes University campus.
Artist and historian David Klevinsky of Hanover Township was responsible for the establishment of the original marker. He and others worked to have a replacement marker.