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The Music Lover

“The Music Lover, a colorful acrylic gouache painting by John G. Burke is dedicated to the artist’s brother, William Burke, who died of cancer on February 1, 1995, after a lifetime filled with the joy of listening often to great music. The artist imagines his brother entering eternity hearing harmonies surpassing anything he experienced on earth, coursing through his being as though he himself is as one with a mighty paean. The world he has left is symbolized by the illuminants of night and day, the moon and sun viewed through apertures at left and right of center. In the realm he is entering there is one source of light, symbolized by the white distant disc above his head.”

review in The Church World, August 1, 1996

for Art of the Spirit II exhibition at Pilgrimage Bookstore, Portland, Maine



John Gregory Burke was born in Portland, Maine on December 1, 1919. He attended Portland School of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design, the Art Student’s League, and the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in New York City. On November 19, 1948 he married the former Mary Maxine Lemon. John worked as an architectural draftsman in Portland and the Capital District area of New York while he and Maxine raised their seven children. Maxine died tragically in a car accident in 1977. John returned to Portland for his retirement where he was able to enjoy his passion for painting, as well as is quest for peace in his association with Pax Christi Maine.

“Art is an achievable nobility and glory of the human intellect, which disposes the mind to the contemplation of Beauty and Truth, prerequisite to the implementation of Peace. Thus the altruistic vocation of the artist, maker of beauty and disciple of truth, is to be a peacemaker...”  - John Burke


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