Wanderer Featured on Mary E. Hutchinson site
October 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
This painting with an unknown title that I informally call “Wanderer” (ca. 1931) is currently featured on Artworks of Mary E. Hutchinson, my digital catalogue “work in progress” at http://meh.omeka.net. It is one of a series of boat paintings she produced as landscapes in response to advice from New York galleries to make her work more commercially viable. The Opportunity Gallery, which was associated with high profile artists including Walter Pach, John Sloan, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rockwell Kent, Robert Henri, and Charles Demuth who acted as exhibition “Czar”, specifically advised Hutchinson to paint landscapes to break into the speculative New York art market. The strategy worked, and though she never exhibited at the Opportunity Gallery, she did begin to sell work and draw media attention at exhibitions such as the Washington Square sidewalk show.
Here’s an excerpt from a letter to her mother, Minnie Belle Hutchinson, describing her hikes to sketch and paint boats:
Circa November 24, 1931 – “I was over the river all day, painting. I made my paint box as light as possible. The children of the neighborhood just swarmed around me like bees…. I always enjoy the ferry ride over and back…. Two more days out, and more painting at home, and I hope to finish this one. I have a smaller sketch ready for another painting. It is of a single boat with barges on the side.”