Victoria Hutson Huntley papers, 1929-1999

A Finding Aid to the Victoria Hutson Huntley Papers,1929-1999 , in the Archives of American Art, by Jivan Kaur Soverall

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Biographical Information

Victoria Hutson Huntley (1900-1971) was a painter, printmaker, muralist, and educator who worked in New York City, Florida, and New Jersey.

Beginning in 1919, Victoria Ebbels studied at the Art Students League with John Sloan, George Bridgman, Max Weber, Kenneth Hayes Miller, George Luks, and William C. Palmer. After her father's death, circa 1920, she briefly attended teacher's college and moved to Denton, Texas.

At the time of her first solo exhibition at Weyhe Gallery, New York City, in 1930, she was encouraged by Mr. Weyhe and his gallery director, Carl Zigrosser, to explore lithography. Hutson followed their suggestion. George Miller was her lithography instructor from 1930-1948. For the first five years, she devoted herself to lithography exclusively; during the first year, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and Newark Public Library purchased prints. After developing chronic health problems and undergoing surgery in 1954, the physical demands of lithography greatly limited her ability to work, and when she did, assistance was required.

Huntley considered herself to be a modern artist but felt it was going nowhere. Around 1935, she explored Cubism and other modern movements. After experimenting with other techniques she adopted the Mixed Technique, using egg emulsion underpainting with resin-oil overpainting. Subjects included lyrical landscapes of the Florida Everglades, industrial themes, people, flora, and fauna. She also painted murals commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department Section of Fine Arts for post offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Springfield, New York.

From 1921-1930 she was an Associate Professor of Art at the College of Industrial Arts, which later became the State College for Women. Huntley taught painting and drawing at Birch-Wathen School in New York City. In Connecticut she was resident artist at Redding Ridge School, 1939-1942 and at Pomfret School for Boys, 1942-1946. She served on the faculty of Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, from 1946-1953. Although Huntley stopped teaching when health problems curtailed her activities and they had to move to a cooler climate, she continued to paint and, when able, produced prints.

Victoria Hutson Huntley exhibited widely. She had solo exhibitions in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and participated in group shows throughout the United States, and in Algeria, England, France, Italy, Scotland, South America, and Sweden.

When Kopper's Coke won The Philadelphia Print Club's Mary Collins prize for Lithography in 1932, the donor found it difficult to accept that a woman would find a factory suitable subject matter, and made it clear she had no part in selecting the winner. (When Huntley's industrial scenes were exhibited in London, it was assumed the artist was a man and she received checks written to Victor Huntley.) Huntley also won awards from the Library of Congress (1945), Association of American Artists (1946), and Society of American Graphic Artists (1950 and 1951). In 1947, the National Academy of Arts and Letters funded an Everglades expedition. The following year, a Guggenheim fellowship enabled her to create 25 lithographs in Florida.

The work of Victoria Hutson Huntley is represented in the permanent collections of many institutions, including: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Art Institute of Chicago; IBM Corporation; University of Florida; Art Students League Memorial Collection; Bureau of Education, Italy; Collection of the Government of Italy; and University of Glasgow, Scotland.

She married William K. Hutson in 1925 and they had one daughter. The marriage ended in divorce in 1933 and Ralph Huntley, a scientist and mathematician, became her second husband. By the following year, she was using the name Victoria Hutson Huntley professionally. His academic career took them to Connecticut, New York City, back to Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey. After her husband retired, the Huntleys remained in Chatham, New Jersey, where she had two studios, one for painting and another for lithographic work.

Victoria Hutson Huntley died in 1971.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The papers of Victoria Hutson Huntley measure 1.3 linear feet and date from1929-1999. Biographical material, correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs chronicle professional activities and personal life of the lithographer, painter, and muralist.

Biographical materials highlight Huntley's achievements. Her professional correspondence illustrates an active career; correspondents include Old Bergen Art Guild and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Autobiographical notes convey her passion for art, feelings about her health, and the hindrances faced by female artists. Her other writings include "An Artist's Experience in the Everglades" and "On Making a Lithograph," articles that reflect her personality, ideas, rationale and procedures for executing her work.

Artwork consists of a mural design and 10 sketchbooks that also include notes. Printed material includes newspaper clippings and pamphlets that provide insight into the art world of the 1930s and 1940s as it chronicles Huntley's art endeavors and exhibitions. Books are Le Colophon Book Collector's Quarterly containing a reproduction of work by Huntley, and Victoria Hutson Huntley, an article she made into a volume as a gift for her mother.

The majority of the photographs are of Huntley's artwork. They show her growth as an artist and the influences of the places she lived. Also found are some family photographs.

Arrangement and Series Description

The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:

Subjects-Topical:

  • Muralists--New York (State)--New York
  • Printing--Technique
  • Women artists
  • Women painters--New York (State)--New York
  • Women printmakers

Types of Materials:

  • Designs
  • Photographs
  • Sketchbooks

Names:

  • Old Bergen Art Guild
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

Provenance

The Victoria Hutson Huntley papers were donated by Derek Cocovinis of DDC Fine Arts, which purchased the artist's estate.

How the Collection was Processed

The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Jivan Kaur Soverall in June 2009.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

Use of original material requires an appointment.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Victoria Hutson Huntley papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

How to Cite this Collection

The Victoria Hutson Huntley papers, 1929-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1946-circa 1968
(Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

The biographical material includes honors, and prize letters, and slightly different versions of her curriculum vita.

Box Folder
1 1 Awards and Certificates, 1946-1963
1 2 Birth Certificate; Curriculum Vitae, 1946-circa 1968, undated
(birth certificate is a copy)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1954-1997
(Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)

Correspondence primarily pertains to art exhibitions at the Old Bergen Art Guild. Condolence letters and sympathy cards are addressed to Ralph Huntley and her daughter, Hazel.

Box Folder
1 3 Professional (mostly re: exhibitions), 1954-1997
1 4 Condolence Letters, 1971

Series 3: Writings, 1946-1999
(Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Autobiographical notes are loose pages from a pocket sketchbook with handwritten notes and sketches. "An Artist's Experience in the Everglades" explains how Huntley managed to visit the sanctuary to execute her work, and notes preparations and purchases for the expedition. Accompanied by a color fold-out map of the site, Huntley's narrative vividly describes the physical environment and animals' habits as well as her experiences, thoughts and sentiments. "Lithography" and its final version, "On Making a Lithograph," use Peck's Barn (1955) as an example for lithographic demonstration; the article was published in American Artist (May 1960).

Writings by others are an essay by John Taylor Arms about Huntley that focuses on Nocturne, a lithograph by Huntley that is also the title of the essay. An article by Caroline Durieux describes the lithographic process.

Box Folder
1 Writings by Victoria Hutson Huntley
1 5 Autobiographical Notes, 1946-1969, undated
1 6 Notes, undated
1 7 Lists of Lithographs; Exhibition labels, 1966, undated
1 8 "An Artist's Experience in the Everglades" by Victoria Hutson Huntley, circa 1946
1 9 "Lithography"; "On Making a Lithograph," 1960, 1999, undated
1 Writings by Others
1 10 John Taylor Arms "Nocturne"; Caroline Durieux "Lithographic Instructions: How to Draw on a Stone and Print from it," 1950, 1952

Series 4: Artwork, 1939-1952
(Box 1-2; 0.2 linear feet)

A design for The Packet Sails from Greenwich, commissioned by the U. S. Treasury Department Section of Fine Arts for the post office in Greenwich, Connecticut, shows how the mural would be displayed above the Postmaster's door. The sketchbooks (10 volumes) contain images of animals, landscapes, nudes, sport maneuvers, young girls, sitting or standing, industrial scenes, and interiors.

Box Folder
1 11 Design for Postmaster's Door Mural by Victoria Hutson Huntley, The Packet Sails from Greenwich, Greenwich, Connecticut Post Office, 1939
(Oversized material housed in Box 2)
1 12 Sketchbooks, 1939,1952
(2 volumes)
  • Volume 1: Five Minute Poses
  • Volume 2: Sand Crabs
1 13 Sketchbooks, 1940s
(3 volumes; oversized material housed in Box 2)
  • Volume 3: Interior Design
  • Volume 4: "First Time to Lake Cuthbert and Florida Bay"
  • Volume 5: "Charleston, South Carolina"
1 14 Sketchbooks, undated
(3 volumes)
  • Volume 6: "Chicago Sketches etc."
  • Volume 7: Notes and Brief Sketches
  • Volume 8: Notes on Works and Brief Sketches
1 15 Sketchbooks, undated
(2 volumes)
  • Volume 9: Poses
  • Volume 10: Cityscapes and Antics in T-Formation
  • (Oversized material housed in Box 2)
Box Folder
2 Oversized Artwork
2 1 Design for Postmaster's Door Mural by Victoria Hutson Huntley, The Packet Sails from Greenwich, Greenwich, Connecticut Post Office, 1939
(From Box 1, folder 11)
2 2 Oversized Sketchbook, 1940s
(From Box 1, folder 13)

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1929-1999
(Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Newspapers articles chronicle Huntley's life, achievements and art work. Due to the fragile condition of the clippings, a set of photocopies is available. Pamphlets relate to exhibitions, programs, and art related events. One, titled "Lithography in Europe and America," published by The London Studio in 1934, refers to Huntley as a man when addressing her work, Kopper's Coke. Also included is a copy of American Artist with "On Making a Lithograph" that features Huntley. Le Colophon Book Collectors' Quarterly contains a reproduction of Huntley's work. Victoria Hutson Huntley is an article by F. A. Whiting, Jr., published in the Magazine of Art that Huntley placed in a bound volume as a Christmas present for her mother.

Box Folder
1 16-22 Newspaper Clippings, 1929-1971, undated
1 23 Photocopies of Newspaper Clippings, 1929-1971, undated
1 24-26 Pamphlets, 1932-1999
1 Books
1 27 Le Colophon Book Collectors' Quarterly, 1931
1 28 Victoria Hutson Huntley, 1938

Series 6: Photographs, 1929-circa 1970's
(Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Photographs of artwork by Victoria Hutson Huntley comprise the majority of this series; some are unidentified. Photographs of Fiddler's Green (1938), her mural for the post office in Springfield, New York, are included. Also found are views of Huntley at her press and of family.

Box Folder
1 29-30 Artwork, 1929-1966, undated
(2 folders)
1 31 Victoria Hutson Huntley with exhibition of her Everglade prints; At the Library of Congress with other Jurors of the 1953 "National Exhibition of Prints," 1950, 1953
1 32 Victoria Hutson Huntley working at her lithography press; Illustrations of lithography equipment, 1960, 1963, undated
1 33 Ralph Huntley; Unidentified Children with horses, circa 1950, undated
1 34 Negatives of Artwork and Family, circa 1960's, circa 1970's, undated