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 Robert Ball Hughes  (1806 - 1868)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New York / England      Known for: portrait bust sculpture of prominent persons

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Ad Code: 3
Robert Ball Hughes
from Auction House Records.
bust of Washington Irving
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known as Ball Hughes and also using that as a signature, this man was a sculptor and wax-portrait artist.  He was born in London, England, and died in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  He studied and exhibited at the Royal Academy in London as well as at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the National Academy of Design in New York City.

He emigrated to New York in 1829, having earned much prestige in England.  In New York, he received many commissions for portrait busts in bronze and wax.  Among his subjects were John Trumbull, Alexander Hamilton, and Washington Irving.

From 1838 to 1840, he worked in Philadelphia and from 1840, worked in Boston.  By the mid 1850s, his work was not much sought after, but he did cameo cutting and wax portraiture and also with a poker did burnt pictures into wood.

Kathleen Menendez of the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art in Falls Church, Virginia, provided the information about the signature and the artist's use of the name being Ball Hughes.  She has also provided two website addresses for further information on this artist:

Menedez writes:  "The above reference is to the Cornell University Making of America series, for a particular article by J. William Fosdick in six pages (pp. 495-500) reprinted there.  It was originally published in 1896.  That wonderful article (a 100-year-old antique itself) contains on page 499 an image of a pyrographic work by Ball Hughes (which was owned by the author and artist himself) and talks about Ball Hughes' work."

"I would also like to note that I have an image of another Ball Hughes' pyrograph in my E-Museum of Pyrographic Art and hope to soon display a second that has come across my desk.  The URL for my E-Museum, Antique Pyrography Hall is:"

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