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Richard William Hubbard, NA

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Richard William Hubbard
Hudson River School Painter
American, (1816–1888)
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Hubbard was one of a few painters of his generation with a college degree. A native of Connecticut, he was a member of the Yale University class of '37 before going to New York, where he studied painting with Samuel F. B. Morse and possibly Daniel Huntington. While he also studied abroad during 1840 and 1841, he seems not to have ever exhibited a painting of a specifically European subject. He did, however, acknowledge a profound life-long admiration for Claude Lorrain.

Hubbard exhibited for over forty years at the National Academy of Design, where he was elected an Associate in 1851 and an Academician in 1858. He also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association on a regular basis from 1861 through 1886 and served as that group's third president. Like many of his peers, he sent works to the American Art Union (1848-I852), the Artist's Fund Society (where he was also a founder and president), the Century Association, the Boston Athenaeum, and various exhibitions in New Bedford, New Haven, Buffalo, Sandusky, Chicago, and elsewhere. A favorite subject was Lake George, and he seems to have concentrated his efforts on finding subjects in New York State and New England. Hubbard also participated in the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. In 1874 Yale conferred upon him an honorary master's degree.

Hubbard was a much admired and beloved figure in the community of American painters. A close friend of Sanford Gifford, for many years he maintained a studio on Washington Square and then at the Tenth Street Studio Building, always in the center of activities.

His individuality is found in a strong preference for small paintings on which he lavished extraordinary attention. Henry Tuckerman wrote a rather marvelous encomium on Hubbard, and in paintings such as "The Top of Kaaterskill Falls, Autumn," one can easily understand why. Here we see a painter of superlative skill exploring with equal insight the foreground's detail and the palpable panorama of the distant landscape. The wonderful site selection, rampant attention to tactile detail, broadranging and subtle palette, as well as the rich control of light and shadow are all Hubbard hallmarks carefully invested in this refined little jewel of a painting. Hubbard exhibited a painting entitled Mountain Stream at the Brooklyn Art Association in 1866 and at the National Academy of Design in 1867 -perhaps this very painting or one closely related. He loved working on a small scale and this painting is characteristic in every way. Though he was sometimes chided for not working on larger canvases, it is clear that Hubbard knew exactly where his strength lay and devoted himself with a fine discipline to creating masterworks such as "The Top of Kaaterskill Falls, Autumn" and the similar, though somewhat earlier, "Morning on the Mountain, 1856" (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Bio. from: All that is Glorious around us, Paintings from the Hudson River School by John Driscoll

Roughton Galleries, Dallas, Texas
Courtey to AskART from Brian Roughton

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