Feature Articles

February 2011

Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, Features Works by Alfred Hutty and Jill Hooper

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, is presenting two new exhibits including: The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston, on view in the Main Gallery through Apr. 22, 2012, and Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist, on view in the Rotunda Galleries through Apr. 22, 2012.

The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston offers a career retrospective of the 20th century American artist Alfred Hutty, the master painter and printmaker who is considered one of the principal artists of the Charleston Renaissance. Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist features recent work by Charleston artist Jill Hooper, a classically-trained, realist painter whose extraordinary portraits have earned international recognition.

“These exceptional exhibitions are firsts for the Gibbes and we are thrilled to be able to present them through the generosity of our many donors. The Alfred Hutty exhibition is the first of its kind with an accompanying book and catalog raisonné of his prints. And while Jill Hooper’s work has been a part of the Gibbes collection for some time, this is her first solo exhibition at our institution,” stated Angela D. Mack, Executive Director.

The Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Charleston features evocative landscapes and realistic studies of the human condition created by Alfred Hutty (1877–1954) in Woodstock, New York and Charleston. The exhibition includes sixty works in oil, watercolor, pastel, and most importantly, etchings, drypoints, and lithographs. Following the premiere at the Gibbes, the exhibition will travel to the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, SC, and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA.

Among the first artists to settle in the Art Students League colony at Woodstock, in the early 1900s, Hutty established himself as a leading painter of the town’s natural environs. For more than a decade, he honed his skills in oil and watercolor, producing intimate portrayals of Woodstock’s mountains, lakes, and streams before his career took him to South Carolina. Hutty first visited Charleston in 1920 and according to one of the main legends of the Charleston Renaissance he excitedly wired his wife back in Woodstock: “Come quickly, have found heaven.” Hutty began dividing his time seasonally between homes and studios in Charleston and Woodstock, teaching art classes for the Carolina Art Association at what is now the Gibbes Museum of Art - a relationship that eventually led to the Gibbes’ status as the largest public repository of Hutty’s work. In Charleston, Hutty was inspired to try his hand at printmaking for the first time, and it is this artistic medium for which he is best known. His skillful prints depicting the city’s surviving colonial and antebellum architecture, its rural environs, and its African American population drew unprecedented national attention to both Hutty and to Charleston.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog titled The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty. This illustrated survey of Hutty’s career offers the first comprehensive examination of his impact on American art in the South and beyond. The text and catalog of prints offer authoritative documentation of more than 250 of Hutty’s works. Published in cooperation with the University of South Carolina Press, the book is edited by Gibbes Curator of Collections Sara C. Arnold and Stephen G. Hoffius and features essays by Arnold, Alexis L. Boylan, Harlan Greene, Edith Howle, and a catalog of known prints by Hutty.

The exhibition and accompanying catalog are sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of SC, Gibbes, etc., The Humanities Council SC, South Carolina Arts Commission, Howle-Throckmorton Foundation, Jane Smith Turner Foundation, Price R. and Flora A. Reid Foundation, Brunk Auctions, and Legends magazine.

Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist features recent work by Charleston artist Jill Hooper, a classically-trained, realist painter whose extraordinary portraits have earned international recognition. The exhibition includes a number of Hooper’s acclaimed portraits, along with large-scale landscapes and exquisite still-life paintings that demonstrate her mastery of technique. Through the inclusion of both paintings and drawings, the exhibition offers insight into Hooper’s working process while showing her development as an artist over the past decade.

Throughout her career, Hooper has trained with a number of renowned realist painters, including D. Jeffrey Mims, Charles Cecil, and Ben Long. Her training is grounded in the techniques of the Old Masters, and she mixes her own pigments and paints from life with natural, northern light. Engagement with her subject matter is essential to Hooper’s working process and carries through in her finished work. Her portraits convey powerful emotion, with many of the works in the Gibbes exhibition revolving around themes of personal struggle and resilience. Hooper’s talent gained notice at an early age and in 2000, at the age of 30, she became the youngest living artist included in the Gibbes collection. In 2006, she earned a prestigious BP Portrait Award, presented annually by the National Portrait Gallery in London, for her 2006 self-portrait Pugnis et Calcibus, which is included in the exhibition.

Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist is sponsored by Gibbes, etc. and Charleston magazine.

In conjunction with this exhibit Society 1858 presents, Luce e Colore—La Bella Notte Italiana, on Feb. 10, 2012, from 8-11pm. Society 1858’s winter party celebrates the classical traditions of the great masters and spotlights the exhibition Jill Hooper: Contemporary Realist. Featuring Italian aperitivo and vino provided by Oak Steakhouse, live music from the Juleps and the Ron Wiltrout Trio, and studio artist vignettes.

Tickets for the event are $40 Society 1858 Members, $70 Non-Members. $100 includes event ticket, and an annual membership to Society 1858 and the Gibbes Museum. A special fee of $45 gains you entrance to a VIP Party with Jill Hooper and Charles Wadsworth, from 7-8pm.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905. Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works, principally American with a Charleston or Southern connection, and presents special exhibitions throughout the year. In addition, the museum offers an extensive complement of public programming and educational outreach initiatives that serve the community by stimulating creative expression and improving the region’s superb quality of life.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 843/722-2706 or visit (www.gibbesmuseum.org).


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