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 George Schuyler Hodges  (1864 - 1953)

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Lived/Active: Michigan      Known for: figure, genre, etcher

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George Schuyler Hodges
An example of work by George Schuyler Hodges
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biographical information, submitted January 2004, has been provided by Jeff Lloyd, great grandson of the artist.

George Schuyler Hodges (1864-1953), Michigan automobile builder and artist, was the son of Ira G. and Mariva Hodges, and was born on March 3, 1864, in the Hodges House in Pontiac, a hotel built by his grandfather, Schuyler Hodges. He spent his boyhood in the Hotel, and remembering the days when the Hodges House shown brightest, always considered Pontiac interesting beyond any city he had ever known. "Living in that hotel was something like living a chapter of a Dickens' novel." he recalled. "We had an array of Dickens' characters and the hotel was their meeting place."

He was educated in the Pontiac Schools and Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake. In 1892 Mr. Hodges went to Paris where he studied art. His work was shown at Detroit art exhibits and at other prominent art venues throughout the country. He followed painting as a hobby most of his life.

He was a charter member of the Scarab Club in Detroit. He also made violins and had been granted the patents on the original reflex type camera and on other inventions. He organized the Hodges Vehicle Co. which made horse-drawn carriages and buggies. Around the turn of the century Mr. Hodges became secretary of the Welch Motor Co., the nucleus of Pontiac's automobile industry. This company was eventually absorbed by General Motors. Mr. Hodges was a close associate of Henry Ford and had many dealings with him when Ford was endeavoring to get his auto manufacturing underway.

Hodges built the Pine Lake Country Clubhouse, Rotunda Inn (the original Charley's Crab (Joe Muir) building/location) and several other buildings. He later sold the clubhouse and golf course to the club. He was married in 1888 to Agnes Bacon, who died in 1923. She was the daughter of Levi Bacon Jr., chief clerk of the U.S. Patent Office at Washington.

Other highlights of the career of George Hodges are:
1) invented and manufactured pneumatic-tired buggies and racing sulkies.
2) made the first closed body for a Ford car.
3) drove the first automobile in Oakland County, Michigan; a Searchmont, made in Philadelphia.
4) invented the first power lawn mower.
5) was awarded a scholarship for five years study in Europe at the expense of the French government.
6) was the only living exhibitor at a 1950 exhibition in Detroit of paintings executed in Detroit before 1900.
7) was the first exhibitor of 'etchings' in the United States

George died April 11, 1953 on a Saturday evening at his home at Pine Lake where he had lived for 73 years.

Credit and for further information on George S. Hodges, you might consult:
"Who Was Who in American Art". Compiled from the original thirty-four volumes of "American Art Annual: Who's Who in Art, Biographies of American Artists Active from 1898-1947." Edited by Peter Hastings Falk. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1985.

"Artists of Early Michigan. A biographical dictionary of artists native to or active in Michigan, 1701-1900". Compiled by Arthur Hopkin Gibson. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1975.

"Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Volume 3: September, 1952- August, 1955". New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1956.

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