Museums at Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY



Whitney Hubbard: A 125th Birthday Exhibition

August 12 - September 24, 2000


"Whitney Hubbard: A 125th Birthday Exhibition" features paintings from the collection of the Village of Greenport, The Museums at Stony Brook, and a number of private collectors. Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue with a critical essay by Ronald G. Pisano.

Born in Middletown, Connecticut, on June 18, 1875, Whitney Myron Hubbard moved with his parents to the village of Greenport around 1888. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1897, Hubbard taught public school in Greenport until 1903, when he decided to continue his education and enroll in the Art Students League in New York City. (left: Paradise Woods, Southold, L. I., oil on canvas, photo by Jim Strong)

By 1903, the Art Students League was well established and boasted a roster of instructors who were among the most important artists in America. The League was rather informal; it had no degrees and no set syllabus, and Hubbard attended only two classes: the Morning Life Class and the Afternoon Painting Class, both taught by Frank Vincent DuMond. Under DuMond, Hubbard learned the methods of plein air painting. He later established himself as a marine and landscape painter, and the early influence of DuMond would prove to be the critical point in his development as an artist.

Hubbard made his artistic debut in an exhibition to benefit the Eastern Long Island Hospital, held in Greenport in 1913. One of 40 artists in the exhibition, Hubbard had contributed 10 paintings to the exhibition, all landscapes and marines, primarily of the local area, The show was a great success, both for the hospital and for the artists, as it served as a showcase for artists working on the North Fork.

Hubbard continued to paint, and his works were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brooklyn Museum, It was during this successful time that Hubbard married Ruth Antoinette Langlois, in 1925. She very often posed as his model, and their garden served as the setting for some of his most popular paintings.

During the Depression years Hubbard was forced to significantly reduce the prices of his paintings in order to make a meager living. In the 1940s he suffered a stroke and lost the use of his right hand. He taught himself how to work with his left hand and managed to paint in a broader and freer style. He resumed teaching, and took part in the annual art festival of the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton in 1953. Ruth Hubbard died in 1963 following a lengthy illness and, two years later, Hubbard also died.

Whitney Hubbard had a long and productive life. Although his paintings never sold for much during his lifetime - most between $30 and $300 - he gained a measure of national acclaim before slipping into relative obscurity in 1930. Hubbard is fondly remembered in Greenport and the surrounding area for capturing the essence of the small town in which he lived for 77 years.


Read more about the Museums at Stony Brook in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11

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