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 Charles Woodward Hutson  (1840 - 1936)

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Lived/Active: Louisiana/South Carolina      Known for: genre, landscape and portrait painting

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Storm at Sea with Sailboat
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Biography from The Giorgiomilan-Bayshore Gallery:
Charles W. Hutson was born in McPhersonville, South Carolina in 1840.  Hutson gave up a career in law.  He taught at the University of Mississippi, Louisiana State University, and Texas A & M as well as several other schools in the South.  In 1909, he retired and moved to New Orleans where he spent most of his time painting.

Although he was initially instructed by his daughter, Ethel Hutson, artist and secretary to the director of Delgado Museum of Art, Hutson is considered primarily self taught.  He began sketching in pastel as early as 1905, but it was not until 1908 that he began painting actively. His earliest subjects were pastels of French Quarter buildings, but he eventually turned to nature studies and later to historical and classical themes. 

Hutson progressed from pastel to watercolor.  Then in 1923, he began painting in oil with a series he called the "Fantastics" based on subjects from the Bible and the Classics.  There were three one man exhibitions of Hutson's work at the Delgado Museum of Art in New Orleans (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) in 1931, 1948, & 1965, the last major retrospective.

Hutson began to establish a national reputation in 1917 when one of his works was shown at the New York Independent's Show with other pioneers of modern American painting.  After his death, his reputation grew with exhibitions in New York City, Washington, D.C., and throughout the South.  In The Encyclopedia of New Orleans Artists 1718 - 1918, Hutson described himself as an "amateur"and it was written that art historians consider his work to be an exponent of modern abstract primitivism.

Charles Hutson died in New Orleans in 1936 at the age of 95.

Charles W. Hutson, A Retrospective Exhibition (Catalogue), Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, 1965.

Encyclopedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718 - 1918, The Historic New Orleans Collection, 1987.

Janis, Sidney.  They Taught Themselves: American Primitive Painters of the 20th Century.  New York:

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