Ruth's Yellow Roses
Oil on Board
9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
Initialed Lower Right
A seventy-year resident impressionist landscape and marine painter of Greenport, Long Island, Whitney Hubbard led a secluded, exemplary life much admired for his talent by local persons but with little recognition beyond local citizens. His painting subjects were primarily in that area.
When he died in 1965, his paintings sold for a pittance, but a local art dealer, Melvin Kitchin saw the potential value in Hubbard's work. Before Kitchin's death, he did research on the artist and organized several exhibitions, which helped to earn the artist some of the recognition he did not see in his lifetime.
Hubbard was born in Middletown, Connecticut and spent his early years there with his family whose ancestors were some of the earliest settlers of the Connecticut River Valley. About 1888, they moved to Greenport, but Hubbard returned to Middletown to attend Wesleyan University, earning a Bachelor of Science. From 1899 to 1902, he taught public school on Long Island and then became a student at the Art Students League in New York. His first teacher and only teacher was Frank Vincent DuMond, whom Hubbard followed to Lyme, Connecticut for summer plein-air painting classes.
By 1906, Hubbard was teaching again, but by 1912 had determined to be a full-time artist and began widely exhibiting his work including the National Academy of Design, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Brooklyn Art Museum. He made his debut in Greenport in 1913, settled there and married Antoniette Langlois, who earned money with her musical talents. The couple lived frugally, without a car, in a quaint two-story home. Although he earned some reputation at first, the Depression saw his career tumble. He became more and more reclusive but continued painting, creating a chronicle of plein-air landscapes of his native region during the time he lived there.