Harlan Hubbard

male 1900-1988
Life city:
Bellview, KY
Work city:
Payne Hollow, KY
Woodblock Prints
We're very interested in buying artwork by Harlan Hubbard.
Drop us a note on your art or call the gallery (317) 253-5910.
re: Harlan Hubbard

Harlan Hubbard was born in 1900 in Bellview, KY where he lived until about the age of seven when his father passed away. His mother relocated she and Harlan to New York City to be closer to Harlan’s two older brothers. There he attended public school in the Bronx following which, two years at the National Academy of Design. Upon his return to Kentucky in 1919, he spent another year at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. While always a painter, his early adult career was spent as a carpenter. He was a dedicated keeper of journals which would become the basis for three books to his name: Shantyboat, Payne Hollow and Journals, 1925-1944. In 1943, Harlan married Anna Eikenhout. Shortly after their marriage, his mother passed away. It was in this time that his longing for a more elemental existence became manifest. He and Anna built a shanty boat in 1944 which they inhabited for six years on the Ohio. The seventh year of shanty boat life had them traveling down the Ohio, then the Mississippi to New Orleans where they spent a year in the Bayou waterways. After a trip touring the West in 1951, the Hubbards returned to Kentucky in 1952 and were able to purchase seven acres of property already known to them at Payne Hollow, KY, on the Ohio. They cleared the property, established their gardens, built a house and settled into a life of self-sustainment, living close to the land, the river and all its environs. Taking a mystical joy in the abundance-from-simplicity afforded by their own hard work and whatever was available and at-hand. Hubbard’s art spanned oil/acrylic paintings, watercolors and woodblock prints. He was vastly more concerned with capturing a feeling than in pure representation and the range of his work makes this very clear. Some pieces are quite finished while others appear dashed off on a whim – almost as sketches. And while pure representation was not his goal, he was utterly rejecting of modernism -- even while living through a period of modernism and then abstract expressionism in the larger art world. Hubbard was never commercially successful as an artist. In a 1937 journal entry he remarks “My entries for the annual exhibition at Cincinnati Art Museum were rejected, as they have been for the past eight years”. While it was depressing it also strengthened his perspective that he was creating the art he wanted for himself. It was always pleasant to receive validation or especially, to make a sale. But that was not his ultimate motive. Rather, he attempted to capture and rejoice what he considered the heavenly gift of creation that was before him. Art was a single component of a life built around the Hubbard’s simple, joyous existence. This also included growing and raising their own food, cooking, journaling and playing music every evening with Anna on piano and Harlan on the violin. Or classical duets for cello and viola. Harlan and Anna lived at Payne Hollow up until their final days. Anna Hubbard died in 1986 followed two years later by Harlan in 1988. We're very interested in purchasing Harlan Hubbard paintings. Please contact us if you have works you are considering selling.

STR Joe Fow... (illegible) Barn Johnboat Barge and Steamboat Steamboat Farmhouse in Summer Towboat with Bargest Harper's Ferry, West Virginia River Town Ohio River Packet Aurora, Indiana Abstract View of the Ohio Running a Trotline Steamboat River Shore

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