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 David Chapel Hutchison  (1869 - 1954)

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Lived/Active: New York/Tennessee/Ontario / Canada/Scotland      Known for: magazine illustration, religious subject mural painting

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Ad Code: 4
Donald C Hutchison
from Auction House Records.
The Future is Ours
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
David Chapel Hutchison
Born: August 19, 1869, Abroath, Scotland (as declared on his U.S. Naturalization Records declaration of Intention.)

Died: June 12, 1954, Brookfield Center, Fairfield, Connecticut (obituary [2], Danbury News Times, June 12, 1954; Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2001 [through]
Came to Canada with his family as a child;

1901: Emigrated to the US from Ontario, Canada in October, 1901 with his wife and  daughter (U.S. Naturalization Records Declaration and Petition, January 27, 1914)

1906 began career as commercial draftsman (New York Times article, "Gets Mural Award for  New Rochelle" Jan. 15, 1939)

1910 (census) living in Manhattan; occupation-artist/illustrator

1914  living in Yonkers, NY (U.S. Naturalization Records, op. cit.)

1930 (census) living in Yonkers, NY; occupation-commercial artist; reportedly did magazine covers for Harpers, Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and others (Nashville Tennessean article, "Religious Mural Unveiled  at Trinity Presbyterian" July, 1950)

1933 begins mural painting (Nashville Tennessean op. cit.)

1934-36 paints three lunettes under WPA at Yonkers Carnegie Library (National  Record of Historic Places Nomination Form for New Rochelle [NY] Post Office)

1935 exhibited with the Society of Independent Artists in New York City (National Record of Historic Places Nomination Form op. cit.)

1936 purchased a chicken farm near Danbury, CT and moves there (Yonkers Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 2, Summer 1996)

1938 selected by the Treasury Department’s Fine Arts Section Project to paint  a mural at the Jesup, GA post office. (National Record of Historic Places Nomination Form op. cit.)

1939 selected by the Section Project again to paint three murals at the new Post Office in New Rochelle, NY. (National Record of Historic Places Nomination Form op. cit.)

1950 living in Brookfield Center, CT (p. 188 Danbury City Directory); paints 5'x7' fresco mural at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN (church records; undated clipping of Nashville Tennessean article, "Religious Mural Unveiled at Trinity Presbyterian" July, 1950) (dates unknown) portraits of Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court and Isadore Konti, sculptor Nashville Tennessean article, "Religious Mural Unveiled at Trinity Presbyterian" July, 1950)

1954: Died at home in Brookfield Center, Fairfield, CT,  June 12, 1954 (obituary, Danbury News Times, June 12, 1954)
Some Collections
Yonkers Riverfront Library:
Three 26' x 4' Lunettes originally completed for the Yonkers (NY) Carnegie Library in 1934-36: Age of Chivalry (three scenes from Ivanhoe); Age of Discovery (Indians watching Hudson sail past the Yonkers shore); and The Age of Invention (group of inventors and scientists most with a Yonkers connection). The Carnegie building was torn down in 1982, but the Lunettes done on framed canvas were saved and placed under the care of the Hudson River Museum After about 25 years, the lunettes were returned to the Library following the opening of its Riverfront Branch. (Yonkers Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 2, Summer 1996; 2015 Email contact with Laura Vookles, Museum Curator)
Wayne County (Jesup, GA) Library:
As part of the Treasury Department’s Fine Arts Section Project a mural entitled General Oglethorpe Concludes Treaty Amity and Peace with Creek Indians – May 18, 1733 was painted at the Jesup, GA post office. In the 1960’s the mural was removed from the post office and put into storage. It was rediscovered in the 1970’s, restored and put up in the Wayne County High School. After hanging in the State Capitol for a few years in the 1980’s the work was returned to Jesup and placed in the Wayne County Library. ( Jesup, GA New Deal Art;
New Rochelle, NY Post Office:
Three murals at the new Post Office in New Rochelle, NY were painted in 1939. John Pell Receives Partial Payment for 6,000 Acres shows two young boys struggling with a cow they are bringing to John Pell. The Huguenots Lay the Foundations of the City of New Rochelle, depicts a panoramic look of the construction site of a log building with the assistance of local Native Americans. The Post Rider Brings News of the Battle of Lexington, shows a mounted horseman amid a group of towns people as a second horse is brought to him. The New Rochelle Post Office, built in the Moderne Style in 1937, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 with it being noted the building is architecturally significant because of its murals. (National Record of Historic Places Nomination Form for New Rochelle [NY] Post Office)
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN: 
In 1950 Hutchison donated a  5’x7’ true fresco mural in a Sunday School Room at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. The work titled, There is a Lad Here, depicts a scene from the Gospel of John. The title is scriptural from John 6:9. The mural shows Jesus sitting holding loaf of bread. On his right is the Apostle Phillip and on his left, kneeling behind a young boy is Andrew who is quoted in the text saying, “There is a young lad here with five barley loaves and two fish.” The room is now the church parlor. (Trinity Presbyterian Church records)

According to his U.S Naturalization records, David Hutchison was born in Arbroath, Scotland, August 19, 1869. His family moved to Canada. He emigrated to the United States with his wife (a Canadian citizen) and infant daughter in 1901. He lived in the New York City and Connecticut area. 

As a commercial artist, he is credited with covers of several of the magazines of the period. By 1927 he was painting on canvas extensively and had several portraits to his credit. He began mural painting in 1933. During the Depression, Hutchison was involved in WPA and Section projects in New York and Georgia.

He painted three mural lunettes for the Yonkers Carnegie Library (1934-36). The government grant was exhausted while doing the second work, but he voluntarily completed the third work. He purchased a small chicken farm in Brookfield, CT in 1936, turning it into an artists’ enclave.

In 1938, he was selected to do a mural for the Jesup, GA post office and a year later to do three murals for the post office in New Rochelle, NY.  That building, in part because of his art, is now listed in the National Record of Historic Places. All these works are still preserved. 

By the late 1940’s the outside walls of his modest concrete block home in Connecticut were covered in fresco murals as he worked to perfect his talent. He  donated a fresco mural to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN in 1950.  He died June 12, 1954 at home in Connecticut.

Researched, written and submitted by Hank Schomber, member of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is information from a researcher which led to the conjoining of names: David Chapel Hutchison, D.C. Hutchinson, David Hutchinson (with an n after the i) and Donald C. Hutchison. See biography in separate entry.

My name is Hank Schomber. I am a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. While researching some history of our church, I have gathered information I believe is relevant to your website.
Trinity was established in 1942. By 1950 it had a building for worship and was completing the first floor of an education building. Part of that building is a 5'x7' fresco mural (on a concrete block wall of what is now the church parlor). In part because the artist was reported to be a relative (second cousin) of the pastor's wife (Gladys Hutchison Barr), I began looking into his background. 
Some of that research took me to your excellent website where I found listings for a David Hutchinson (with "n" before "s" of last name) and a Donald C. Hutchison.
Both these listings include information remarkably similar to the artist I have been researching -- David Chapel Hutchison (no "n" before "s" of last name). Indeed my research (see attached) leads me to believe your two entries and David Chapel Hutchison may, in fact, all be the same person.
This said, as your entries for Donald C. and David Hutchinson and my records show, there are still conflicts on information about his life. 
Your David Hutchinson has a dob as "1883 (Canada)." It also notes he lived or was active in New York, Tennessee and Canada. The 1883 date (actually Sept. 23, 1883) and place (Port Perry, Canada) of birth apparently come from a 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card for a David Chapel Hutchison (no "n"). The 1883 date is also found is the descriptive information about the murals and their artist in the National Register Nomination Form for the New Rochelle, NY Post Office. While there is also some confusion of his birth year as 1869 or 1870, nowhere else is it listed as late as 1883. 

The Nomination form also states, he "was born in Canada and evidently lived in Nashville, Tennessee and Yonkers, New York." We have no explanation for this entry.  Our research indicates an otherwise general acceptance of the August 19, 1869 date of birth he listed on his Petition for Naturalization (e.g. the ages listed on the 1910 and 1930 census reports, Carnegie Library article and his obituary.) And while he did two works we know of (the fresco and a 1938 portrait of his cousin's children) in Nashville there is no indication he ever had a permanent residence there.  Family interviews also indicate this.
Your Donald C. Hutchison lists "Birth 1869, Abroath, Scotland and death, 1954." These reflect the information we have found for David Chapel Hutchison. You also note "lived/active New York and Scotland." While he was born in Scotland we understand he came to Canada as a young child with his family. We came across no indication that David Hutchison lived, worked or schooled in Europe as your Donald Hutchison quick facts indicate.
Accepting the possibility there is an artist Donald Hutchison, who was schooled in Europe, I believe it is unlikely the birth and death dates information would be so similar to David Chapel Hutchison. 
Our conclusion is these three listings reflect the same individual, David Chapel Hutchison.
I have attached the biographical information I have gathered on this man.  
With appreciation for your listings, I am hopeful we can establish the deserved recognition for the author of Trinity's fresco mural. 
Hank Schomber

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