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 Thomas Lorraine Hunt  (1882 - 1938)

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Lived/Active: California/Ohio/Ontario / Canada      Known for: modernist painting-coastal-harbors, rocky beaches

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Ad Code: 2
Thomas Lorraine Hunt
from Auction House Records.
Newport Harbor, California
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Thomas L. Hunt was born in London, Ontario, Canada on February 11, 1882. He studied with his father John Powell Hunt and with Hugh H. Breckenridge. He resided in Laguna Beach, Hollywood and San Bernadino, California and maintained a studio in Laguna Beach, California. He was a founding member of the Laguna Beach Art Assn. and he was a member of the California Art Club and San Diego Art Guild.

Examples of his paintings can be found in the Kansas City Museum, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California and the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach, California. He won First Prize at the California State Exposition in 1923, First Prize at the Laguna Beach Art Assn. in 1927 and 1935, and awards at the Pasadena Art Institute, 1933 and at the San Diego Fine Arts Guild in 1933.

Thomas Hunt painted in Canada, Northern and Southern California and New England. Drawn to the seaside, he sought his preferred subject matter -- wharves and boats. He also painted beach scenes with crashing waves over rocks, cottages, snowy hillsides and village scenes. Known for his use of pure color, he creates paintings intended to sparkle and vibrate with scintilating light effects. His viewpoint and treatment of his subject matter is highly distinctive. A "Los Angeles Times" critic in 1931 summed up, "One is impressed, in fact, by the poetry of nature he has felt". Thomas Lorraine Hunt died in Santa Ana, California on April 17, 1938.

Submitted December 2003 by Lawrence Beebe, an art preservationist and collector.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in London, Ontario, Canada on Feb. 11, 1882, Thomas Lorraine Hunt was the son of artist John Powell Hunt.  The younger Hunt studied art with his father, with Hugh H. Breckenridge at the PAFA, and in various American and European art centers.

Much of his early life was spent in Cleveland, Ohio where he was in the construction business and, when not building homes, painted in his leisure.   In 1924 he moved to southern California and continued the same activities in Hollywood and San Bernardino.  Three years after his arrival he built a studio in Laguna Beach where he taught classes, exhibited locally, and was instrumental in establishing the art museum there in 1929.

Hunt died at Santa Ana Valley Hospital on April 17, 1938 following an ulcer operation.  Using a colorful palette, he painted decorative canvases of harbor scenes, landscapes, and coastals.

California State Fair, 1923 (1st prize); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1924; San Francisco Art Association, 1924, 1927; Painters of the West (LA), 1925; Painters & Sculptors of LA, 1926; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1927; Laguna Beach Art Association, 1927-35 (1st prizes); Exposition Bldg (LA), 1928; California Art Club, 1932-33; Pasadena Art Institute, 1933 (award); San Diego Fine Art Guild, 1933 (prize).

Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Kansas City Museum; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
So. Calif. Artists 1890-1940; Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Plein Air Painters (Ruth Westphal); Santa Associate of the National Academy of Design Daily Register, 4-20-1938 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Edenhurst Gallery (Artists A to L):
Thomas Lorraine Hunt was Canadian by birth.  He was born in 1882 in Ontario, and at an early age came to the United States.  He studied under his father, painter John Powell Hunt, and with Hugh Breckenridge.

His career in art began relatively late in life, painting only as a pastime.  By 1924 he was in California where he continued his ongoing career in home building, taking part in the early development of Hollywood land in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. He eventually traveled further south to Laguna Beach where he built a studio home and taught classes.  He was instrumental in founding the Laguna Beach Museum in 1929.

He died in Laguna in 1938.

Hunt is known for his harbor scenes and landscapes painted in a highly colorful palette with a strong leaning towards abstraction.  His approach to the canvas is often minimalist, relying on color and form to explore subject matter.  His use of negative space and other spatial concepts put him in the avant garde of the plein air movement.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Beverly Hills:
Thomas Hunt was born in Canada in 1882, the son of the artist, John Powell Hunt. Though the younger Hunt studied with his father, Thomas spent much of his early life as a businessman, only painting in his leisure.

In 1924, Hunt moved to southern California, and continued working and painting when he was able. Hunt was able to build a studio in Laguna Beach, and did find the time to use his skills to help establish the Laguna Beach Museum.

Hunt’s paintings are typically bold modernist works, with strong color, often painted near the working harbors around the Los Angeles area.

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Thomas Hunt is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
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