(Charleston, South Carolina/New York, 1877-1954)
The Potato Pickers, circa 1935, unsigned, oil on canvas, 16-1/4 x 20 in.; modern gilt wood frame, 20-3/4 x 24-1/2 in.
Exhibition label verso: Greenville County Museum of Art; Included in Work Song, May 15-July 1, 1990, and McKissick Museum, Columbia, South Carolina, September 2 - October 28, 1990; also has loan history at the Gibbes Museum of Art, 1990
The work of Alfred Hutty has come to be closely linked with the Charleston Renaissance movement, a time loosely delineated by World Wars I and II. It was through the work of artists, writers and historians that the City of Charleston came back to the national consciousness. This thriving seaport had not fared well through the Civil War and reconstruction but its grit and poise held the city and its inhabitants together. By the 1920's both visiting and local artists found the vistas, the street life and the low country landscape to provide an almost endless supply of creative inspiration.
Potato Pickers in the Low Country is closely related to Hutty's drypoint of the same name. They differ slightly in composition and also in the specificity of his rendering of the figures. Another related work in the collection of the Gibbes Museum, Charleston,South Carolina is The Discussion Group, watercolor, circa 1940. In some of Hutty's work we can be sure we are seeing a particular person or group engaged in activity. At other times faces are abstracted or rendered in a generalized way. This work by Hutty, is informed by two discernable forces. The first is the viewpoint of a visitor - Hutty only lived in Charleston a few months each year. As Alexis Boylan points out in The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty, Woodstock to Charleston, "Hutty gives the viewer beauty and proximity without the demands of engagement and responsibility." He is also an artist that regularly traveled between Woodstock, NY and Charleston, SC. This work hints that he was well aware of the growing trend toward Modernism in America.
, Provenance: Carolina Prints and Frames (Carolina Galleries), Charleston, South Carolina; Private South Carolina Collection
re-stretched and lined, appears to maintain original tacking edge; frame with minor abrasions